U taps Josh Goldstine as marketing chief

With the hire of Josh Goldstine as its new president of marketing, Universal Pictures gains both fresh perspective and a proven track record in the same hire.

Goldstine is a 20-year Sony vet whose recent campaigns include “The Social Network,” “The Karate Kid” and the “Spider-Man” franchise. He fills the vacancy left by Eddie Egan’s shift to run marketing at U’s animation division, Illumination Entertainment. Goldstine has been seen as the frontrunner for the U post since back in May,U post since back in May, when Egan’s move was announced.

Goldstine will oversee all aspects of Universal’s domestic feature film marketing activities, including creative advertising, media, publicity, promotion, digital marketing as well as home entertainment marketing and administration. He will report to studio chairman Adam Fogelson and work closely with Michael Moses, Universal’s co-president of marketing.

Over the past decade, many of Universal’s marketing chiefs — including Fogelson and former co-chairman Marc Shmuger — were elevated from within the studio ranks. Goldstine’s hire reps a departure from that run but reflects a desire by the studio to bring in some new perspective while furthering its recent momentum with hits such as “Fast Five” and “Bridesmaids.”

Goldstine, who most recently served as senior executive veep of creative advertising at Sony, was extremely well respected on the Sony lot and was said to have brought high energy to the marketing efforts there. U will be looking to harness that fresh viewpoint and build on the studio’s 2011 successes.

“Josh has repeatedly and consistently proven himself a top advertising and marketing executive, and we are fully confident his leadership will continue to build upon this division’s recent successes with ‘Hop,’ ‘Fast Five’ and ‘Bridesmaids,’?” Fogelson and Universal co-chairman Donna Langley said in a joint statement.

Goldstine’s hire caps a round of recent moves at Universal that saw Jeffrey Kirschenbaum and Peter Kramer replace Debbie Liebling as co-presidents of production, and Comcast re-up studio president Ron Meyer through 2015.

Goldstine’s run at Sony, notably, was marred by his involvement in the David Manning incident. In 2001, Goldstine was reprimanded and suspended along with Matthew Cramer for 30 days for their roles in the creation of fake film critic Manning, whose blurbs were used to promote Columbia Pictures films. The studio paid $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit over the matter.

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