Josh Greenstein, chief marketing officer since 2011, will not be staying at Paramount Pictures and is expected to join Sony Pictures Entertainment when his contract ends on Dec. 31st to become head of worldwide marketing and distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment. He replaces Jeff Blake who exited after launching Sony’s summer box office. On the heels of that move, Paramount has promoted Megan Colligan to President, Worldwide Distribution and Marketing. She will continue to report to studio vice-chairman Rob Moore.
In shoring up its ranks after Greenstein’s expected departure, Paramount has also promoted Erik Counter to president, worldwide creative advertising who will now report to Moore. Counter has been at the studio for the past six years, reporting to Greenstein. Meanwhile, Steve Siskind has been promoted to president of domestic marketing, reporting to Colligan.
“We take great pride in the depth of talented professionals at Paramount and are excited to grow the roles of Megan, Erik and Steve,” said Paramount Pictures Chairman & CEO Brad Grey in a prepared statement. “These promotions reflect our trust in their talents, confidence built upon their experience, and the success each has had working across our staff and partners. Under Rob Moore’s leadership, our motion picture marketing has become the best in the business, and we look forward to this new team structure continuing that success.”
The moves come after Greenstein and Paramount have been negotiating back and forth for months and as Sony has been wanting to shore up its marketing ranks. Apparently, Paramount thought the deal with Greenstein was all but signed when he went back to Sony and they counter-offered. One of the strongest creative executives in the business, the well-regarded Greenstein is expected to join Sony in the coming months. Greenstein was going to exit the studio last year, but then the studio asked him to stay as it released the risky Noah which starred Russell Crowe and Emma Watson.
“I also want to thank Josh Greenstein,” Grey added in a prepared statement. “We are truly grateful to Josh for his contributions to our studio and the great work he did here, and we wish him the best for the future.”
Colligan has been part of the studio since 2006 and, in fact, Greenstein and Colligan kind of grew up together inside Paramount. With these structural changes, the studio is putting a strong vote of confidence with Colligan’s leadership abilities as she will now manage domestic and international theatrical as well as home media distribution. Colligan and Greenstein are friends and worked side by side for years in launching such film properties as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Anchorman, Terminator, Paranormal Activity, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, and the successful reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
“Erik is a tremendously talented creative executive and has worked closely with Josh and will do an unbelievable job,” said Colligan. “I really enjoy working with him. Steve is a big veteran of the industry. He’s rational, thoughtful and analytical — one of the smartest guys I’ve ever worked with and he is a very strong leader. He is one of the most respected guys in our ranks. We have all worked together for a very long time and we are a very cohesive unit. I believe that this team has done a great job through the years and will do a great job in the future. It’s a great group.”
Colligan is creative, has strong relationships with filmmakers and understands financials – a rare but great combination for an executive to have. In a previous life, she was an investment banker and working herself through law school. “My Dad said that you have to have a job that you love so you want to get out of bed every morning and go to work,” she said. “So I’m very, very lucky. I really love my job. I’m proud of what we’re doing over here.” As well she should. They have had a stellar run this summer with the $1B worldwide success of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well as the tough-to-market but worldwide success of the lengthy The Wolf of Wall Street and the critically-acclaimed Nebraska.
Since coming to Paramount from Intralink Films – one of Paramount’s creative vendors – Counter has also worked on those films. He began his career at Cimarron Group where he worked as a print art director and edited trailers and television spots. In 2004, he moved to Intralink where he produced theatrical trailers and television spots for films such as American Gangster, The Departed and Valkryie.
Steve Siskind has been with Paramount since 2004, serving as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and Advertising and responsible for oversight of worldwide media planning and buying for theatrical film releases while also overseeing worldwide creative content for special programming and integrated marketing campaigns, national promotions and digital marketing.
PREVIOUSLY August, 24th: Josh Greenstein, who has been Paramount Pictures‘ chief marketing officer since 2011 and whose name has been bandied about for the big Sony marketing job, is now negotiating with Paramount to stay put. This after the walloping opening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend — a $65M haul which surprised the heck out of everyone. And, let’s face it, a lot of the credit goes to the marketing department at Paramount. If the deal goes through, that would take both him and former marketing exec Oren Aviv out of the mix for the Sony position.
Greenstein’s negotiations with the studio also come after opening such pics as Transformers: Age of Extinction, Anchorman 2 and The Wolf of Wall Street (to name a few). It was thought Greenstein would exit the studio last year, but then Paramount kept him engaged for another year as it released Noah, a fairly risky big-budget film. Greenstein did not return calls about negotiations. A Paramount insider confirmed this AM that he was, indeed, in negotiations to re-up but had no further comment.
The talks came after Sony inquiries a couple of weeks ago, leading Paramount to offer the town’s creative master another contract. Now, sources said he is negotiating a longer-term deal. Greenstein is one of the industry’s strongest marketing executives and well respected for his creative acumen. Looking forward, he will be marketing of such studio franchises as Star Trek 3 and Beverly Hills Cop 4, along with potential moneymakers such as Turtles.
Greenstein was previously exec VP of creative advertising at Paramount and has a great institutional knowledge of important studio franchises such as the aforementioned Transformers and Anchorman as well as Iron Man, Paranormal Activity, the Mission: Impossible series and Jackass. He assumed the marketing post in 2008 after joining Paramount in 2005. Previously, he served as marketing head for Dimension Films, where he ran the campaigns for Sin City, Scary Movie and Spy Kids.