Sony Pictures Entertainment will open a London office to coordinate the theatrical division’s worldwide efforts in promotions and product placement.

Overseeing the new office is George Leon, who has been promoted to exec VP, worldwide promotions and product placement. He reports to Geoffrey Ammer, president of worldwide marketing for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.

Leon, who joined SPE in April 2000, oversees a team that plans and implements promotions, product tie-ins and product placement for all theatrical releases. Leon most recently oversaw promo campaigns for “Spider-Man,” “Men in Black II,” “Stuart Little 2” and “XXX.” He is working on campaigns for “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “Spider-Man 2.”

Reporting to Leon is Chris Taday, who will lead the London office as head of promotions for Europe. Taday and Leon will develop new promotional models for corporate partners throughout Europe and other worldwide territories.

“With the addition of a new office in London, George and Chris will expand our opportunities overseas and coordinate our promotional efforts with the goal of adding value and muscle to our existing relationships,” Ammer said. “The goal is to tailor promotional campaigns to individual territories and create new business formulas for our corporate partners throughout Europe.”

Before joining Sony, Leon was VP of promotions for Fox Family Worldwide/Saban Entertainment, where he established the company’s first consumer promotions division and developed campaigns for Fox Family/Fox Kids programming such as “Power Rangers,” “NASCAR Racers,” “Mystic Knights” and “The New Addams Family.”

Taday most recently was head of U.K. licensing at Universal Studios; he managed merchandising and promotion on “Johnny English,” “The Hulk” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

Before U, Taday worked in merchandising and promotions for 20th Century Fox, both in Australia and in the U.K.