EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has begun its layoff process that will last through the week. We hear that Sony has cut the entire Sony Pictures Interactive team tasked for the last 15 years with supporting the studio’s digital marketing. I’ve confirmed this, but am told there will be staff reductions in California, other U.S. locations and internationally, and that all divisions of the company will be impacted. “We are continuously evolving the business to make SPE more efficient and competitive,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson Charles Sipkins. We will tell you more specifics when we learn them.
This shakeup has been in the cards since Sony hired Bain & Company to figure out a way to cut $100 million in operating costs across movies, TV and the music operations. Staffers from that consulting company have made their presence felt on the lot. This attempt to run more efficiently came out of the discussions that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton had with Kazuo Hirai after minority shareholder Daniel Loeb ragged on the studio after a string of flop films that included After Earth and White House Down. Of those executives leaving this month at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Matt Brown, Executive VP Worldwide Commercial, is retiring effective March 31. In December, it was announced that David Bishop, president of the Home Entertainment division, was also departing this month after his contract wasn’t renewed.
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