Marc Weinstock, head of marketing at Sony Corp. (6758)’s film studio, was removed from his role following a disappointing run at the box office, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Weinstock’s duties, encompassing global oversight of movie marketing, will be taken over temporarily by others on staff while a replacement is found, said the person, who asked not to be identified because no announcement is planned.
The departure is part of the response by Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynton and Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal to investor concerns about the unit’s performance. In August, Tokyo-based Sony rebuffed an effort by investor Daniel Loeb to sell part of the entertainment unit, while CEO Kazuo Hirai promised more transparency into its financial performance.
Sony’s U.S. ticket sales have slid 32 percent this year after movies including “After Earth,” starring Will Smith, and “White House Down,” with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, disappointed at the box office. Sony Pictures, which led the six major studios in U.S. ticket sales in 2012, has slid to fifth this year with $861.4 million in receipts, trailed by Viacom Inc. (VIAB)’s Paramount, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.
Weinstock didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. He may remain at Sony in a diminished role, the website Deadline.com reported earlier.
Sony fell 1.6 percent to 2,097 yen as of the close of trading in Tokyo. The shares have more than doubled this year, compared with a 42 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
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