He'll oversee the corporate communications team and report to Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton
Sony Pictures Entertainment has hired PR crisis expert Charles Sipkins as its new senior communications executive.
He will report directly to co-chairs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, overseeing all aspects of the company’s corporate communications with the existing team at SPE.
Sipkins most recently served as a managing director for corporate and financial communications firm Sard Verbinnen, and his background dealing with Wall Street helped him land the Sony job.
Activist investor Daniel Loeb, who owns about 7 percent of Sony Corp., has via his Third Point hedge fund waged a three-month campaign to convince the company to sell as much as one-fifth of its money-making entertainment arm — movies, TV and music — to free up cash to revive the electronics business.
The film studio has had a tough summer, enduing big-budget disappointments in "After Earth" and "White House Down."
Sipkins, a managing director at Sard Verbinnen, headed communications for Yahoo during its highly tumultuous period of turnover between chief executives Scott Thompson, Carol Bartz and new CEO Marissa Mayer.
He also worked with News Corp. when it was separating its publishing and entertainment assets earlier this year, and with Groupon during its initial public offering.
Sipkins will be in a role comparable to that handled by former SPE executive Jim Kennedy, who moved to the communications team at Sony Corp.
The roles of Ann Boyd, executive VP for global communications, and the SPE divisional corporate communications officers (among them Steve Elzer, senior vice-president for the motion picture group and Paula Askanas, executive vice-president for Sony Pictures Television), are unchanged.
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