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Eddie Cunningham Named Universal Pictures Worldwide Home Entertainment President, Craig Kornblau Out

Kornblau leaving after 16 years

Eddie Cunningham has been promoted to president of Universal Pictures Worldwide Home Entertainment, the studio said Tuesday.

Craig Kornblau, who had served as president of Universal’s domestic home entertainment division will be leaving to pursue other endeavors, Universal said. He has been with the company for 16 years.

The leadership change comes after Universal shook up its home entertainment division last September, by merging it with its digital sales group. The move was a concession to growth of online sales of movies and TV shows, which studios such as Universal increasingly see as a way to offset the decline in the popularity of DVD.

Another area of importance for studios in search of new revenue streams have been foreign markets, and that is something Cunningham has spent years cracking.  Cunningham has served as president of Universal Pictures International Entertainment for eight years. Under his new title, he will now oversee the company’s domestic home entertainment operations.

Also read: Universal Merges Digital Sales Into Home Entertainment Division

He will continue to report to Universal Pictures President & Chief Distribution Officer Peter Levinsohn.

“As the home entertainment landscape continues to evolve, we need to ensure that we’re operating as one global team positioning ourselves for the greatest success,” said Levinsohn.  “Eddie has had tremendous results as head of our international home entertainment division and he will be a terrific leader for our group as we work to shape the future of Universal’s home entertainment business with an even greater global focus.”

In a statement, Kornblau thanked his colleagues at the studio,

“It has been an incredibly rewarding 16-year run at Universal and I leave on a high note with an immense sense of pride and accomplishment,” he said. “I am very fortunate to have teamed with such an exceptional group of talented individuals and appreciate all of the innovation, collaboration and camaraderie that have rendered this organization second to none in the industry.”

Cunningham is based in London, but will relocate to Los Angeles.

Prior to joining Universal, Cunningham was managing director of Polygram’s U.K. home entertainment business and budget music labels in 1994. The company was acquired by Universal Pictures in 1999, and Cunningham became chairman of U.K. Operations and regional managing director for the Nordic countries as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Earlier in his career, Cunningham held a number of roles in retail and distribution.  He was an operating board member of the Woolworths retail business and commercial director of Entertainment U.K., a wholesaler and distributor.

For the record: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Cunningham was replacing Kornblau. The men had different titles.