Universal Pictures Revamps Home Entertainment Division

Universal Pictures has restructured its home entertainment division, headed by Eddie Cunningham.

The studio said Friday that Los Angeles will serve as the headquarters to handle all of its home entertainment efforts, and has tapped the leadership to run the group, named Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

As part of the move, Cunningham will establish a separate U.S. operating company to service Universal’s largest territory for homevid releases. A Canadian operating company will also be formed to support the studio’s fourth-largest market in the home entertainment space. Universal will also retain its nine international offices.

John Morici, formerly Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer will become executive VP and regional managing director of the U.S. and Canadian operating companies. John Melluso, who previously held the title of VP, sales, will become the new managing director of the Canadian operating company reporting to Morici.

Michael Bonner who leads the domestic digital distribution side of Universal’s home entertainment group will continue to oversee that business as executive VP of digital distribution for UPHE, reporting to Levinsohn.

Melanie Laithwaite now becomes executive VP, business affairs and business operations for UPHE. She was Universal Pictures International Entertainment’s executive VP, business affairs and business operations.

Hilary Hoffman, Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s executive VP of marketing now becomes executive VP of marketing, UPHE.

Paul Chesney, previously UPIE’s senior VP of international operations and licensees, takes the global role of executive VP of operations, UPHE.

John Revill, previously UPIE’s senior VP and regional managing director of sales, insights and catalogue and TV marketing, will become exec VP of global partners and sales.

Glenn Ross, who oversees the company’s home entertainment original productions arm, will continue in the role as executive VP of Universal 1440 Entertainment.

And Helen Parker, who oversees the company’s international acquisitions and production business, will continue in that role as executive VP and managing director A&R.

Ian Foster, regional managing director, United Kingdom and Japan; Pauline Grimaldi d’Esdra, regional managing director, France; Dirk Lisowsky, regional managing director, Germany, Austria, Switzerland; and Jim Batchelor, managing director, Australia, a joint venture with Sony; will continue in their current roles.

The changes come after Cunningham, who was named president of Universal’s worldwide home entertainment businesses earlier this year, was tasked with streamlining the company’s domestic and international operations.

The exec formerly led Universal’s international home entertainment group in London. He has since relocated to Los Angeles, and reports to Peter Levinsohn, president and chief distribution officer.

“Creating a global headquarters is an important step toward making our business even more competitive in the marketplace,” Cunningham said. “We’re extremely fortunate to have so many talented executives across our home entertainment groups and under their continued leadership in this global structure, I’m confident our business will grow and thrive.”

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