Lion leaps to vid Down Under

Co. ups Hunton to head operations

MGM’s Home Entertainment Group is establishing a full-scale sales, marketing and distribution infrastructure in Australia, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for DVD.

The announcement was made Wednesday by Robert Wittenberg, the unit’s exec VP of worldwide sales.

“Hands down, Australia has become one of the most vital markets in the industry. Australian consumers — long proven as early adopters in the consumer electronics business — are expected to spend over $1 billion on video in 2003 alone, with most of the growth forecasted to come from retail DVD — a gain of more than 32%,” Wittenberg said.

As part of the move, the Lion has promoted MGM exec Don Hunton to managing director Down Under, heading the operation. Based in Sydney, Hunton will oversee the company’s new offices in Sydney and Melbourne, reporting to Wittenberg.

Hunton most recently was general manager, U.K. and Ireland, based in the company’s London office. He joined MGM Home Entertainment in 1999 as VP/commercial director, where he oversaw the launch of the company’s U.K. and Ireland operations.

Before joining MGM, he spent six years at Buena Vista Home Video.

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