AMC Theatres has promoted Dan Ellis from SVP, Development and International to EVP, Chief Operations & Development Officer. In addition, the No 1 exhibitor has hired Eliot Hamlisch as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, after an extensive national search.
Given Ellis’ new role, international duties, which previously reported to Ellis will shift instead to be supervised by AMC EVP & CFO Sean Goodman.
Ellis succeeds John McDonald, who is retiring as the head of U.S. Operations after a 47-year movie theatre career, all with AMC.
Hamlisch takes over marketing leadership from Stephen Colanero, who is retiring after 12 years as the CMO at AMC.
The retirements of Colanero and McDonald have been long in the making. Each executive stayed committed to the circuit during the Covid impacted years of 2020 and 2021.
Hamlisch joins AMC from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts where he served as EVP, Loyalty and Revenue Optimization. Prior to Wyndham, Hamlisch worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Deloitte Consulting and American Express. He has an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College and he received his MBA from the Harvard Business School. Hamlisch will begin at AMC as its CMO on March 7 and will report to Adam Aron, AMC Chairman and CEO. He also will join AMC’s Executive Committee.
Colanero joined AMC as its first ever CMO in 2009. Highlights during his tenure included launching AMC Stubs and AMC Stubs A-List, introducing a new web site and mobile app, greatly expanding guest and shareholder communications, and the recent company rebranding featuring its first ever television advertising campaign showcasing Nicole Kidman.
Ellis takes over effective immediately as the Chief Operations and Development Officer after leading AMC’s Development department since 2020. His new role includes leadership of the Development, U.S. Theatre Operations including Food & Beverage, as well as AMC’s Design & Construction, Facilities Sight & Sound departments, along with certain Analytics efforts. He originally joined AMC in 2017 as the head of Domestic Development. Prior to AMC, Ellis spent five years as SVP, General Counsel & Secretary at Carmike Cinemas, which AMC acquired in 2017.
McDonald retires after 47 years with AMC and is among the longest tenured executives in AMC’s more than 100- year history. He has been at the helm of AMC’s U.S. Operations in his current position since 2011. McDonald began his AMC career in 1975 as a film crew member at an individual theatre, and thereafter has worked his way up to his current leadership role. On his watch, AMC has became the No. 1 circuit in the U.S. and a force overseas.
Oversight for AMC’s international theatres moves to Sean Goodman, EVP & Chief Financial Officer. Goodman, who was born and raised in South Africa, and who lived in London for many years. Mark Way who has put on the boards a particularly effective effort as President AMC Europe & Managing Director Odeon Cinemas Group now will report to Goodman. He formerly reported to Ellis. Responsibility for AMC’s theatres in the Middle East now will also fall under the purview of both Goodman and Way.
The spurred several other expansions in executive scope and promotions. Most notably: Jennifer Douglass becomes SVP U.S. Operations and takes on supervision of AMC’s U.S. theatres. Cynthia Pierce becomes SVP Design, Construction, Facilities, Sight & Sound, and picks up responsibility for AMC’s Design and Construction efforts. Michael Hans becomes SVP Domestic Development to run AMC’s U.S. real estate and leasing activity. Hank Green becomes Vice President Food & Beverage, to lead AMC’s ever so important U.S. food & beverage activity.
Aron said: “I am ever so pleased to announce Eliot Hamlisch becoming our new EVP and Chief Marketing Officer and the promotion of Dan Ellis to EVP and Chief Operations and Development Officer. In their new roles, Eliot will jump right in as our CMO and Dan will head both our U.S. Theatre Operations and our Development organizations. Meanwhile, Sean Goodman will oversee our international theatres. I can say unequivocally that I have enormous confidence not only in Eliot, Dan and Sean, but also in Jennifer Douglass, Cynthia Pierce, Michael Hans, Hank Green and Mark Way, all of whom also will be assuming new and broader roles.”
Aron added, “During the more than six years that I have been privileged to lead AMC, our company has been fortunate to have an unbelievably talented and dedicated team of executive officers, whose focus has been on delivering a superb theatrical experience for our guests while driving value for our shareholders. Over time, change in leadership at any organization is inevitable, but in this case, I know that Eliot, Dan and Sean, along with our other officers with increasing
responsibilities will continue in that great tradition of executive leadership at AMC, will cause AMC to shine and will help propel AMC ahead in the years to come.”
Aron concluded: “The contributions to AMC from John McDonald and Stephen Colanero over many years are too great to measure. I want to emphasize that these two retirements are completely voluntary. Both executives have spectacular arrays of accomplishments under their belts. We will miss each, both professionally and personally, but how can we do anything other than wish them much happiness during their well-earned retirements. I should also add a special note of thanks that each stayed on with us to get AMC through the challenging and heavily COVID-impacted years of 2020 and 2021, and each remained committed to our mission until their successors could be selected — leading to what we expect will be a seamless and painless transition.”
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