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Lori MacPherson to Leave Disney as Studio Restructures Home Entertainment Group

The changing of the old guard continues to take place inside Hollywood’s homevideo divisions.

Lori MacPherson, a 23-year-vet of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, is leaving the company as executive VP, global product management at the end of the month.

MacPherson was instrumental in helping grow Disney’s Blu-ray business, digital copy and loyalty programs. Her role at the company was expanded in 2010 to include managing physical and digital Disney, Pixar, Marvel, DreamWorks, ABC, ABC Family and Disney Channels properties, along with developing new business opportunities.

Her departure comes as Disney is in the midst of restructuring not only its homevideo operations but also the rest of the company’s divisions as part of a cost-cutting move.

MacPherson is the latest senior homevideo exec to leave their studio after Mike Saska opted to retire from Warner Home Entertainment as executive VP and general manager of theatrical new releases after nearly 20 years. Saksa opted not to stay with the company earlier this week.

Saksa had overseeen the domestic release campaigns of more than 700 titles since 1995.

The news of MacPherson and Saksa’s departures were first reported by The Wrap.

As digital and international sales start to play a larger role in driving the bottom line for Hollywood, studios are looking to bring in new blood — especially execs with overseas experience — to run their homevid groups.

In December, Sony ousted its home entertainment chief David Bishop for Man Jit Singh, who has run Sony Pictures Television’s networks business in India since 2009. Bishop had been president of the division for eight years.

In February, Universal replaced its homevideo chief Craig Kornblau, who had been with the company for 16 years, with Eddie Cunningham, who served as president of Universal Pictures International Entertainment for eight years.

Universal merged its home entertainment division with its digital sales group last year.

And in March, Matt Brown, executive VP, worldwide commercial for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, was also let go as part of that studio’s corporate restructuring.

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