Culver City, Calif. (March 20, 2012) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) today announced that Jim Underwood has been appointed Executive Vice President, Worldwide Digital and Commercial Strategy, reporting to David Bishop, SPHE President.
Promoted from the role of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Underwood will now be responsible for SPHE’s transactional digital business around the world and will develop and implement the studio’s integrated strategy for the home entertainment market across all channels of distribution. In his new role, he will oversee SPHE’s digital distribution, digital strategy and operations, commercial planning, and business affairs groups. Jason Spivak will continue to lead the team responsible for SPHE’s transactional digital distribution, reporting to Underwood.
“With technology changing the way consumers collect and experience our products, Jim has the right background and expertise to keep SPHE at the forefront of new and emerging business models during this time of transformation in the industry,” said Bishop.
“SPHE has always embraced new technologies and worked with our partners to introduce new forms of distribution that benefit consumers and the studio – by launching new physical formats like Blu-ray and by helping drive new digital models like UltraViolet. I’m excited to build on these successes and to help SPHE continue to find innovative new ways to bring our products to customers around the world,” said Underwood.
Underwood previously served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Development for Sony Pictures Entertainment and has held a variety of corporate and business development roles since joining the company in 2003.
Prior to Sony Pictures, Underwood’s experience included corporate development, strategic consulting, and investment banking positions at Parametric Technologies, The Parthenon Group, and Morgan Stanley. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois and received his MBA from Harvard University.
John Calkins, who previously led SPHE’s efforts in the digital space – in particular driving the launch of UltraViolet and early electronic-sell-through – will be leaving the company to focus on other opportunities in digital media.
“Under the overall leadership of David Bishop, SPHE and the digital team have taken significant steps forward in digital distribution, and I look forward to capitalizing on the momentum we’re beginning to see in digital content ownership in my next role,” stated Calkins.
Added Bishop, “We are grateful for the role John has played in helping to build our digital businesses and wish him well as he moves on to his next opportunity”