Johnson new prexy of BVHVI

Michael O. Johnson was upped to the new position of president Buena Vista Home Video Intl., from senior veep of BVHVI. He will now report directly to Bill Mechanic, president of international theatrical and worldwide homevideo.


Johnson is credited with playing a key role in the international vid division’s rapid growth. In the six years Johnson has been at BVHVI, the division has expanded from 34 into 62 markets. BVHVI operates subsidiaries in nine of those markets, and works with distributors in the others. Annual revenues for the international division are estimated at around $ 600 million.

After joining BVHV in 1986 as director of international sales, Johnson was promoted to VP in1987 and senior VP in 1990. Previously he was publisher of Audio Times Magazine, and had been western regional director of sales and marketing at Warner Amex Satellite Entertainment.

With the latest promotion, Johnson will take over some of the responsibilities of Richard Cohen, who recently announced his departure as exec VP of Buena Vista Home Video worldwide. Johnson will work more directly with o’seas distribs and subsidiaries.

Cohen’s departure set in motion a number of changes at BVHV. Last week Ann Daly was upped to the newly created post of president BVHV North America from senior VP, marketing (Daily Variety, Oct. 22). Like Johnson, she reports directly to Mechanic. Sources at BVHV said Cohen’s position will be eliminated in the restructuring.

Mechanic, Cohen, Daly and Johnson have been part of a remarkably stable management team over the past six years that has seen BVHV become the market-share leader in both domestic and consolidated overseas markets. BVHV is the top supplier in the U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Benelux in terms of supplier revenue. Domestically, BVHV is expected to be top supplier again this year on unprecedented revenues of more than $ 1 billion. Sources said Cohen will announce his plans soon, and it’s anticipated he will take a post outside of homevid.

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