Sony Promotes Bob Lawson to Global Head of Communications

Lawson, who previously served as chief communications officer for Sony Pictures Entertainment, will join the parent company’s leaders in Tokyo

Bob Lawson
Bob Lawson

Sony has promoted Bob Lawson, EVP and Chief Communications Officer at Sony Pictures, to SVP in charge of corporate communications for the entire Japanese tech and media company.

Lawson will assume the role on April 1 and will move to Tokyo to join the rest of the Sony leadership later this year following a transition period at Sony Pictures. He will report to CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

The promotion comes as Sony’s entertainment division — which includes Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Television, Crunchyroll and Playstation, among others in its portfolio — now comprises more than 50% of the corporation’s annual revenue after reporting a $719 million loss in 2016.

“Bob has always maintained a strong, collaborative working relationship with SGC leadership and across our Sony sister companies, so this promotion is hardly surprising. And his appointment to the SGC leadership team reflects the growing importance of the US-based entertainment companies to SGC’s overall business,” Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman/CEO Tony Vinciquerra said in a memo announcing the promotion.

Lawson, a deputy press secretary for former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, previously worked at the strategic comms firm Rubenstein, where his clients included Paramount Pictures, the NFL and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Lawson joined Sony Pictures in 2014 after a mass leak of confidential studio data by a hacker group and was promoted to chief communications officer a year later. Under his leadership, Sony consolidated all of its communications departments under one roof, with all divisions reporting to Lawson.

Lawson oversaw comms for Sony amid a decade of major change. Along with the fallout from the hack, Lawson ran communications for the company as it saw major changes in leadership, including the arrival of motion picture group chairman/CEO Tom Rothman and television chairman Ravi Ahuja.

Lawson also helped guide the communications strategies for Sony amidst major changes in its business strategy, eschewing the development of its own streaming service in favor of developing TV and library content for other studios, including striking a streaming distribution deal between Sony Pictures and Netflix.

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