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Bishop Stepping Down as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment President

18 Dec, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold

David Bishop

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president David Bishop is stepping down from the position he’s held since 2006, effective March 2014, the studio announced Wednesday, Dec. 18.

In a statement, Bishop said, “It’s been a rewarding run at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and I am extremely proud of the organization and all we have accomplished in an exciting evolving marketplace.”

Under Bishop’s tenure, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment gained both market share and acclaim for its leadership role in various hot-button industry issues, from the launch of Blu-ray Disc to the digital evolution.

There’s no word on a replacement. Bishop’s resignation comes after a challenging theatrical summer for the studio, with disappointing big-screen runs for After Earth, White House Down and Elysium. In November, Sony told analysts it plans on cutting $250 million in costs at its entertainment division over the next two years, in the hopes of realizing CEO Kazuo Hirai’s goal of increasing profits and keeping full ownership of its music, movie and TV businesses.

Bishop is a longtime home entertainment executive who assumed the reins of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment from Ben Feingold, who had headed the division since 1994 and oversaw the transition from VHS to DVD.

Bishop was brought in as the home entertainment industry was moving to high-definition discs in what would turn out to be a bruising format war. At the same time, DVD sales, which for several years had been posting double-digital annual percentage gains, had begun to slow.

Bishop quickly established himself, and Sony, as a leader in the ultimately triumphant push to make Blu-ray Disc the high-definition format of choice. He also has key roles in navigating Sony Pictures’ path to bridge physical and digital home entertainment and in guiding and driving industry-wide industrywide initiatives for digital content.

As Home Media Magazine wrote in his 2013 digital drivers issue, “Bishop has been instrumental in the push for UltraViolet, has championed both Walmart’s disc-to-digital offering and the idea of early electronic sellthrough before disc, and has been a driving force behind digital content enhancements (including SPHE’s MovieTouch, a tablet-specific “extras” offering for films including Men in Black 3 and Total Recall).”

Bishop initially joined Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) in early 2006 as president of worldwide brand integration, responsible for the integration of MGM assets over the various SPE worldwide distribution entities. Later that year he assumed the presidency of the division from Feingold.

Prior to joining SPHE, Bishop enjoyed a 15-year career at MGM Home Entertainment, where he ultimately rose to president and COO. He oversaw worldwide operations for the home entertainment division, which included home video and DVD, consumer products, online, interactive games, video-on-demand, pay-per-view and emerging technologies groups as well as MGM’s international theatrical marketing and distribution unit.

During his tenure, MGM received numerous prestigious customer service awards from top retailers, including Walmart, Best Buy and Target. In the video game category, the company scored big with the launch of Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and The Great Escape. Bishop also led the company's major expansion efforts in worldwide sales, marketing and distribution in more than 90% of the global DVD marketplace. In 2002, Bishop was inducted into the Video Business Hall of Fame.

Before joining MGM Home Entertainment, Bishop spent three years at Live Home Video, where he was responsible for North American home video operations and eventually became president and COO. He is credited with building Live into the largest independent distributor in the home video industry.

Bishop has also consistently been at the forefront of new technologies and played a big role in the launch of DVD, which remains the most successful consumer electronics product ever. During his tenure at MGM, Bishop helped lead the industry in the initial launch of DVD as the first president of the DVD Video Group (now DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group).

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