MGM restructures marketing arm

Michael Vollman tapped for dual posts

MGM/UA has begun restructuring its marketing department. Dennis Rice has resigned as prexy of marketing and publicity at UA, and the studio has hired Michael Vollman to dual posts as MGM exec veep and president of marketing for United Artists.

Vollman, a 10-year DreamWorks employee, became exec veep of integrated marketing and national publicity for Paramount Pictures after the studio’s acquisition of DreamWorks. Vollman informed his Par bosses Tuesday night and was freed up to take the new post.

The hire was spearheaded by Mary Parent, chair of MGM’s worldwide motion picture group, who has made a marketing overhaul a priority as she aggressively acquires material for a homegrown MGM slate. Vollman takes the top post at UA, but it is likely Parent isn’t finished and will name a marketing topper for MGM.

Since Vollman worked closely with Terry Press at DreamWorks, the hire will only accelerate speculation that she is in line for the top post.

Rice quietly resigned a week ago, but will likely continue in some consulting capacity.

Vollman will immediately begin working with Parent and UA topper Paula Wagner on the Bryan Singer-directed Tom Cruise starrer “Valkyrie,” which UA is set to open Feb. 13, 2009, as well as upcoming MGM offerings that include the Jim Sheridan-directed “Brothers” as well as “Perfect Getaway” and “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.”

Parent has acquired 10 projects in the last three months and just greenlit her first film, the recently acquired Joss Whedon-Drew Goddard script “The Cabin in the Woods,” on which “Lost” vet Goddard will make his feature directing debut. That film doesn’t yet have a start date. Parent is also prepping remakes of “Fame,” “Robocop” and others.

MGM wouldn’t comment.

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