Berke made SPE digital chieftain

Exec to o'see group developing co. regs on technology

Sony Pictures Entertainment exec Beth Berke has been named head of a new inhouse policy group designed to work out corporation-wide issues connected with the rise of digital recording and distribution.

Berke, SPE’s chief administrative officer and exec VP, will oversee the Digital Policy Group, which has been set up to “facilitate SPE’s migration to a world of secure digital formats, delivery systems and networked devices,” the company said.

“As the pace of change within entertainment and adoption of technology across all divisions of Sony Pictures Entertainment accelerates, the need to coordinate our policies and strategies across our multiple lines of business is essential,” SPE vice chairman Yair Landau said. Berke, who oversees SPE’s lobbying, legal affairs, human resources and security, “has an exceptional understanding of the effect of policy decisions on business, legal and government affairs,” Landau added.

The group will develop company policy on new digital recording and distribution technologies, represent the company in legislative and regulatory efforts and work with other Sony units to develop secure digital formats for the company’s movies and other products.

Other policy group members are exec VP of external affairs Hope Boonshaft; senior VP and assistant general counsel Mitch Singer; and senior VP of strategic technology Brian Lakamp. Representatives from the studio’s divisions also will participate.

Sony occupies a unique position in entertainment. Its various units include movie and TV studios, a major record label, special effects and animation businesses and the biggest videogame hardware platform. It is an investor in the Movielink online pay-per-view service, PressPlay online music distrib and other digital initiatives. At the same time, it is the world’s biggest maker of consumer electronics and has great influence in which digital technologies that business adopts.

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