“These changes are part of our ongoing ‘reimagining SPE’ efforts that [CEO] Tony [Vinciquerra] announced earlier this year to create a stronger and more agile organization, one that is better able to pivot and capitalize on opportunities in a fast-changing and increasingly complex global marketplace,” said Hopkins in a memo to staff.
As part of these changes, global networks operations and worldwide distribution/home entertainment will combine into a single business unit operating in a “territory management model.” SPT also will establish a direct-to-consumer unit “focused on engaging audiences and building new platforms.”
Additional layoffs are expected at the company as the result of the merging of three separate divisions.
Europe will be led by Mark Young in Western Europe and John Rossiter in Eastern and Central Europe; the Asia-Pacific region will be overseen by Ken Lo; and Alex Marin will oversee operations in Latin America and Canada. In India, N.P. Singh will continue to oversee Sony’s channels and add television distribution to his portfolio.
Other areas that will also report into LeGoy include distribution operations, led by Angel Orengo, who previously was executive VP, distribution, EMEA; distribution strategy and content management, led by Mike Wald, who adds content acquisition, content partnerships and global partner marketing to his plate; and consumer insights and innovation led by Kim Overall. Finally, Lexine Wong will continue to lead home entertainment marketing.
Hopkins also said that SPT will be “energizing our first-run syndication business,” which essentially has been quiet since the company ended Queen Latifah in 2014 after two seasons on the air.
John Weiser, formerly president of U.S. distribution, will take on a new title, president, first-run television, reporting directly to Hopkins. In that position, Weiser will work closely with Holly Jacobs for U.S. production; Michael Davies from Embassy Row, which is housed within SPT; and Wayne Garvie’s international production teams.
In other moves, Flory Bramnick will take on U.S. syndication duties and advertiser sales, while Jason Spivak will oversee management of U.S. home entertainment, pay TV and SVOD sales.
Chief Digital Officer Eric Berger will oversee the newly formed direct-to-consumer unit, which will be composed of Crackle, Funimation, Flim 1 OTT and Animax On Demand. Within that, Gen Fukunaga will continue to lead Funimation, which offers anime to a global audience.
Key global network functions will run under one centralized services unit in Culver City, Calif., with T.C. Schultz taking on the newly created role of executive VP, networks operations, programming and strategy.