Sally Van Slyke is exiting as Universal’s VP of marketing effective March 1, the studio confirmed yesterday.
While Universal management attempted to keep Van Slyke’s impending departure under wraps until she landed another position, their hand was forced when confirmation of the news began to leak early yesterday.
Rumors that Universal was not going to renew her contract–due to expire in March–had been circulating for weeks, despite recent denials from her boss, exec VP of worldwide marketing Simon Kornblit.
Reached yesterday, Van Slyke said she cannot yet announce her future plans, although she did say her next position will be in the political arena.
“The election brought my desire to go to Washington to the forefront,” Van Slyke said. “I’ve been involved in the Washington scene for quite a while and I wanted to do it full-time.”
“I will miss her,” said Tom Pollock, MCA Motion Picture Group president, adding, “She’s been here for almost nine years. I can understand why she would want to go off. The capital is exciting right now.”
“I think she’s burnt out from dealing with the massive egos in this business, ” said a Universal insider. “She wants a change.”
Commenting on Van Slyke’s departure, Kornblit said, “We’re going to greatly miss Sally.
“She’s built a strong and motivated publicity and marketing department.”
After her departure, Van Slyke will be available to act as a consultant to the studio, according to Kornblit.
Kornblit said nobody has been chosen yet to replace Van Slyke.
Van Slyke, who was made a senior marketing VP in 1989, joined U’s marketing team in March 1987 as VP, West Coast publicity, promotion and field operations.