Sony shuffles digital execs

Reorg is aimed at adapting to changing distrib landscape

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is reacting to a downturn in DVD sales and is restructuring the division to be a bigger player when it comes to digital distribution.

Effective immediately, John Calkins is moving from Sony Pictures Entertainment’s corporate development group to become executive VP of global digital and commercial innovation at SPHE, a newly created post that will focus on new technologies.

His team will oversee the homevid division’s business affairs and worldwide digital distribution groups.

Matt Brown will now handle North American sales, in addition to managing the company’s international business.

Meanwhile, John McMahon, who had switched over to SPHE from Sony Pictures Television Intl., and had overseen the homevid group’s growth in Europe, will now report to SPHE president David Bishop.

Among those leaving the homevid arm are Bob Rubin, as exec VP of business affairs, digital distribution exec Sean Carey, and Marshall Forster, a 17-year-vet, who previously managed the arm’s North American business.

The Advanced Technologies team, headed by Don Eklund, will move out of SPHE and into the Sony Pictures Technologies group under the leadership of Chris Cookson.

The executive shuffle is part of a new model SPHE is developing in order to streamline the division’s decision-making process and become more flexible, Bishop said.

The moves were expected, with SPHE having let staffers know in December that the restructuring was coming. All of the changes are expected to be completed by April.

“Our choice is simple,” Bishop told staffers. “We can make strategic choices today to direct the evolution of our business, or be overwhelmed by changes that are imposed on us by forces outside of our control.”

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