Co. taps 1st woman to run homevid arm

Robin Russell has been appointed to oversee day-to-day operations at Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. She’s the first woman to hold that job.

Russell’s appointment to senior executive VP and general manager is part of a restructuring at CTHE that involves several promotions and newly created positions as well as the formation of a new worldwide marketing group. Changes come in the wake of the explosive growth of the DVD market worldwide and CTHE president Ben Feingold’s assuming additional responsibilities on the theatrical side last year.

Lexine Wong has been promoted to the new post of executive VP of worldwide marketing, adding domestic marketing to her previous duties as senior VP of international marketing.

Marshall Forster has been promoted to the new post of exec VP, North America. This adds sales and retail marketing initiatives for the sell-through and rental markets to his former position of senior VP sales (North America). He will work closely with Wong on marketing strategies.

Russell, formerly executive VP, will continue to oversee CTHE’s worldwide business and legal affairs and also will be responsible for the unit’s worldwide administration, helping to determine the global strategic business direction of CTHE.

All three newly promoted execs will report directly to Feingold.

“These appointments certainly demonstrate a strategic response to an evolving global marketplace which is being redefined by new technologies and which demands immediate, creative and novel responses,” Feingold said in a statement.

Columbia TriStar videos generated $2.1 billion in consumer spending last year, according to Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.

Wong and Forster joined Columbia TriStar in 1992.

Russell has spent more than 20 years in the entertainment industry, holding senior positions in the motion picture business affairs units of the Walt Disney Co. and Columbia Pictures before moving to the home entertainment distribution wing of CTHE parent Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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