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Sony Creates Centralized Worldwide Operations Group

29 Mar, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) has restructured its operations group into a worldwide operations services department, merging domestic and international concerns.

Former SVP of international operations Aodan Coburn will head up the new division in the newly created position of EVP of worldwide operations. He will report to David Bishop, worldwide president of SPHE.

“As the dynamics of our growing worldwide business change, the consolidation of our domestic and international operations groups becomes a logical response to the challenges presented,” Bishop said.

Those challenges include the tightening windows between theatrical and DVD release, growing demand for Blu-ray and standard definition discs, as well as rapid growth of international business, he pointed out.

A centralized management system will allow SPHE to take better advantage of digital companies under the Sony Corporate umbrella, such as Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC) replication facilities in Terre Haute and Salzburg, Austria, as well as Sony Entertainment Distribution, Bishop said in announcing the reorganization.

“A worldwide operations system will assure the seamless maximization of efficiencies and will provide immediate responses to our business needs, thus benefiting not only our company but our clients around the world,” he said.

New EVP Coburn has been with SPHE for 18 years, serving in various executive positions in licensing and operations, business development and commercial operations in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Other moves within the Sony executive lineup accompany the formation of the new operations entity, reporting to Coburn.

Geri A. Bluerock has been named SVP of vendor managed inventory. She will handle all day-to-day ordering, forecasting and maintaining VMI, and replenishment for the company's 55 customers in North America.

Robert Ziegler has been promoted from VP of production services to SVP of operations and production services. Ziegler will oversee the management of SPHE's supply chain. Specifically, he will manage a 60-person department in both the United States and Canada in such areas as forecasting, inventory management, distribution, customer service, transportation and returns processing. Additionally, he will be responsible for supplier/vendor management, which will include contract negotiations and term management.

Natasha Currie has been promoted to VP of European operations. Based in London, she will manage print and packaging services, manufacturing and distribution functions in support of SPHE's Operating and Licensed territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this promotion, Currie was executive director of European production.

Walt Engler has been named to the newly created area of SVP of operations. He will focus on the creation of a global operations support mechanism, which includes the transfer of best practice, consolidated reporting and financial management.

“I am confident that [Coburn] and his talented team of executives are more than up to the task and that their combined skills will ensure the success of the Worldwide Operations Group,” Bishop said.

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