Sony Pictures Shakes Up TV, Home Entertainment for Digital Age

Sony Corp. is shaking up its TV and home-entertainment businesses, replacing veteran leaders in distribution and marketing in a move that reflects the growing importance of online viewing.

The company’s Culver City, California-based entertainment arm said Keith Le Goy, president of distribution for television and a former Walt Disney Co. executive, will add home entertainment to his portfolio, according to an internal memo.

The appointment reflects the growing migration of audiences to internet viewing from conventional TV. He’ll oversee distribution of both films for home entertainment and television programming, reporting to the respective heads of those business — movie chief Tom Rothman and his counterpart in TV Mike Hopkins.

Le Goy takes over from Man Jit Singh, who’s stepping down. Andy Kaplan, president of worldwide networks, which operates online channels such as Crackle, also will leave his post, with the group now reporting directly to Hopkins, who is chairman of Sony Pictures Television.

An employee accused Le Goy of misconduct in 2011, according to emails leaked during a 2014 cyberattack on Sony Entertainment and reported by the website Gawker. The allegation was investigated and found to be without merit, a Sony spokesman said Tuesday.

New CEO

The moves follow last year’s appointment of Tony Vinciquerra as chief executive officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment and his choice of Hopkins, the former head of digital distributor Hulu, as the company’s top TV executive. Last week parent Sony Corp. underwent its own changing of the guard, naming Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshido to succeed CEO Kazuo Hirai.

The restructuring at Sony Pictures, which also include streamlining its marketing, shakes up operations that have been in place at the studio for years. Hollywood is facing strong competition from digital distributors and changes in consumption habits. Last year the company took a $1 billionwrite-off, linked to the performance of its home entertainment business.

“Our decision to rethink the way we operate these units was driven by our goals to streamline (Sony Pictures Entertainment’s) business operations, making them nimbler and better aligned with a rapidly-evolving industry,” Vinciquerra said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

As part of the changes, Sheraton Kalouria stepped down as chief marketing officer for Sony Pictures Television. Instead each marketing team will report to the units they support.

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