×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Christine Birch Out as Sony Domestic Marketing Chief (EXCLUSIVE)

Christine Birch is out as head of domestic marketing at Sony Pictures, Variety has learned.

Her status at the studio has been in question after employee complaints about alleged marijuana use on the Sony lot prompted a human resources investigation, first reported by Variety on March 21. Birch denied to human resources executives that she smoked pot at the office. There was a growing sense, however, that Birch’s position at the company was untenable and that employees in the department were balking at working under the executive due to her caustic style. She was asked to take a leave as an investigation took place.

The investigation found no official wrongdoing and Birch was not suspended. But it’s understood that Birch came to agree with the company’s senior leadership that a return to work had become impossible after news broke about the investigation.

Birch joined Sony in 2016 from Focus Features, where she was president of marketing. At Sony, she was quickly promoted from a creative marketing executive to the head of the domestic marketing team. She replaced Dwight Caines, the previous Sony domestic marketing chief. Birch previously ran marketing for FilmDistrict and did a stint at DreamWorks Studios.

Josh Greenstein, the president of marketing and distribution at the studio, brought Birch into the fold in 2016 and has remained one of her big boosters. He credited her with providing invaluable insight on the campaigns for recent Sony hits such as “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” He indicated in a note to colleagues Wednesday that Birch and the studio had decided mutually  that she should exit.

This is Birch’s second go-round with Sony. She was previously with the studio for 12 years. Here is the note:
Dear colleagues,

Following an extraordinarily impressive run in Columbia’s Domestic Marketing department, Christine Birch is stepping down from her post as President of Domestic Marketing.

Christine approached us about leaving in January 2018, following the record-setting performance of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Under her tenure, Sony’s domestic marketing department produced some of its best results in years, including Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Magnificent Seven, Peter Rabbit, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Below is a short note from Christine regarding her departure:

“The transformation of the Columbia Pictures marketing department has been one of the most rewarding chapters of my career. I’m very proud of the team and I’m incredibly grateful to Tom Rothman and Josh Greenstein for supporting my vision. Now, I’m ready for a new challenge.”

Christine’s direct reports will report to Andre Caraco, Co-President of Domestic Marketing, on an interim basis.

Please join me in thanking Christine for her hard work and dedication to Sony Pictures, and in wishing her all the best in the next chapter of her career.

Josh

 

More Film

  • 'The Apollo' Review: A Legendary Theater

    Tribeca Film Review: 'The Apollo'

    You should never take for granted a documentary that fills in the basics with flair and feeling. Especially when the basics consist of great big gobs of some of the most revolutionary and exhilarating popular art ever created in this country. Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo,” which kicked off the Tribeca Film Festival on [...]

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Fans and Theaters Assemble for Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

    For San Diego resident Shawn Richter, “Avengers: Endgame” is more than the conclusion to a monumental period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the West Coast branch chair of Avengers Initiative, a cosplay charity that raises money for causes like the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, the comics of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are [...]

  • Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs

    Amazon's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Sets Summer Release

    “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be rushing to theaters on Aug. 23. Amazon Studios dated the comedy on Wednesday. The pic, starring Jillian Bell (“Rough Night,” “22 Jump Street”), won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick follows the titutal Brittany, who decides to run around New York City in order to [...]

  • Lionsgate Hires Lynn Whitney in Marketing

    Lionsgate Hires Former Warner Bros. Exec Lynn Whitney

    Lionsgate announced Wednesday that Lynn Whitney will become head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products. Whitney was formerly the executive VP of worldwide media at Warner Bros.   In her new role, Whitney will build out media campaigns for movies like Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy “Long Shot.” “I am [...]

  • El silencio de otros

    Film Review: 'The Silence of Others'

    “Forgiven but not forgotten” is a platitude we routinely use to end disputes both petty and grievous, but it’s the reverse outcome — the mass forgetting of crimes and conflicts never truly resolved — that itches away at a post-Franco Spain in “The Silence of Others.” Soberly chronicling the ongoing legal battle of General Franco’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content