Sony Names New Digital Leader for Home Entertainment

Jim Underwood replaces out-going John Calkins as exec VP of worldwide digital and commercial strategy

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has replaced John Calkins with Jim Underwood as head of its digital strategy.

Calkins is leaving the company to focus on other opportunities, Sony said. 

The studio has been an enthusiastic supporter of UltraViolet, the cloud-based service that many major studios hope will encourage consumers to buy rather than rent films. Walmart recently backed the fledgling service, which had a soft launch last year.

Also read: Walmart Supports UltraViolet With 'Disc-to-Digital' Service

The studio lauded the outgoing exec's role in launching UltraViolet.

“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,” home entertainment chief David Bishop said.

Underwood be report to Bishop in his new role as executive vice president, worldwide digital and commercial strategy. Previously, he was exec VP, corporate development at the studio.

Jason Spivak will continue to lead the team responsible for Sony'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 [Sony Pictures Home Entertainment] at the forefront of new and emerging business models during this time of transformation in the industry,” Bishop said in a statement.

Underwood has held a variety of corporate and business development roles at Sony since joining the company in 2003.

Prior to Sony, Underwood worked in corporate development, strategic consulting, and investment banking positions at Parametric Technologies, The Parthenon Group, and Morgan Stanley.