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Col ups marketing maven

Studio creates 'one-stop office' for marketing partners

As part of a plan to consolidate marketing, licensing and promotions under a single division, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has upped George Leon to exec VP, worldwide consumer marketing.

Leon had been exec VP, worldwide promotions and product placement, for Sony Pictures Entertainment since March 2003. He now adds responsibility for supervising licensing, merchandising and consumer products.

Al Ovadia, who had overseen that division, will ankle Col.

With this consolidation, the studio aims to create a “one-stop office” for its marketing partners, according to Columbia TriStar prexy of worldwide marketing Geoffrey Ammer.

Leon joined the company in April 2000. He has been responsible for product tie-ins, promotions and product placement for theatrical releases, including both “Spider-Man” features, “Men in Black II,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “XXX.”

His previous experience includes a stint as veepee of promotions for Fox Family Worldwide/Saban Entertainment, where he launched the consumer products group.

Leon is already at work on the campaigns for upcoming Col releases “Bewitched,” “Fun With Dick and Jane” and “Memoirs of a Geisha,” among others.

The departing Ovadia said in a statement that while he’s disappointed to be leaving, “I understand that, at the end of the day, the change is in the best interest of SPE going forward.”

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