Jim Underwood replaces John Calkins, who's ankling

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has named Jim Underwood exec VP of worldwide digital and commercial strategy.

John Calkins, who previously led SPHE’s efforts in the digital space — in particular driving the launch of UltraViolet and early electronic-sell-through — will be leaving the company to focus on other opportunities in digital media.

“Under the overall leadership of David Bishop, SPHE and the digital team have taken significant steps forward in digital distribution, and I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum we’re beginning to see in digital content ownership in my next role,” said Calkins, whose title was exec VP of global digital and commercial innovation.

“We are grateful for the role John has played in helping to build our digital businesses and wish him well as he moves on to his next opportunity,” added SPHE prexy David Bishop.

Promoted from exec VP of corporate development at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Underwood will report to Bishop. He’ll now be responsible for SPHE’s transactional digital business around the world and will develop and implement the studio’s integrated strategy for the home entertainment market across all channels of distribution.

In his new role, Underwood will oversee SPHE’s digital distribution, digital strategy and operations, commercial planning and business affairs groups.

“With technology changing the way consumers collect and experience our products, Jim has the right background and expertise to keep SPHE at the forefront of new and emerging business models,” Bishop said.

“SPHE has always embraced new technologies and worked with our partners to introduce new forms of distribution that benefit consumers and the studio — by launching new physical formats like Blu-ray and by helping drive new digital models like UltraViolet,” said Underwood. “I’m excited to build on these successes and to help SPHE continue to find innovative new ways to bring our products to customers around the world.”

Jason Spivak will continue to lead the team responsible for SPHE’s transactional digital distribution, reporting to Underwood, who has held a variety of corporate and business development roles since joining the company in 2003.

Prior to Sony Pictures, Underwood’s experience included corporate development, strategic consulting and investment banking positions at Parametric Technologies, the Parthenon Group and Morgan Stanley.

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