Robert Lawson Named Communications Chief at Sony Pictures

Newly installed EVP will report to Michael Lynton, replaces former PR head Charlie Sipkins

Last Updated: May 12, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton has installed Robert Lawson as Executive Vice President Chief Communications Officer at the studio, replacing former PR chief Charlie Sipkins who departed in the wake of the Sony hack.

“Bob comes to SPE after serving as an Executive Vice President at the strategic communications firm Rubenstein and having worked closely with SPE over the last several months as a consultant,” Lynton said in a statement Tuesday.

The move comes as no surprise given Lawson’s significant role in damage control attempts by Sony following the devastating studio hack in November.

The communications post was left vacant for months while Sony picked up the pieces, having let go of Sipkins almost immediately after damaging emails showed contention between the executive, former co-chairman Amy Pascal and her husband Bernie Weinraub.

Lawson’s clients at Rubenstein included NewsCorp, the National Football League, Tribeca Enterprises/Tribeca Film Festival and the NYC Marathon. Prior to Rubenstein, he served as deputy press secretary for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Read the full memo from Lynton:

I am pleased to announce that Robert Lawson has been named Executive Vice President – Chief Communications Officer for Sony Pictures Entertainment, reporting directly to me and Nicole Seligman, President of Sony Entertainment.

Bob comes to SPE after serving as an Executive Vice President at the strategic communications firm Rubenstein and having worked closely with SPE over the last several months as a consultant. His corporate communications experience in the entertainment space and in other sectors has been enormously helpful to us and we look forward to expanding our work with him across the breadth of the SPE business.

As Chief Communications Officer Bob will be responsible for the development and implementation of SPE’s overall communications strategies and lead the company’s media relations, executive communications, crisis/issues management and thought-leadership activities. He will work closely with SPE’s communications teams in the Motion Picture and Television Groups, as well as the company’s global communications team in Tokyo.

Bob joins SPE after running a division at Rubenstein focused on corporate communications, crisis/issues management, thought-leadership and large-scale outreach campaigns. Over the last year he has worked with Sony Corporation of America on internal and external communications strategies and more recently with Sony Pictures Entertainment, first on the 2014 film Captain Phillips, and later on broader corporate communications after the 2014 cyber-attack. Prior to his work with SPE, Bob worked closely with Paramount Pictures while at Rubenstein, developing and implementing numerous internal and external communications strategies related to corporate positioning, restructuring and issues management as well as on various film-specific projects such as Oliver Stone‘s World Trade Center, Daren Aronofsky’s Noah and Michael Bay‘s Transformers franchise.

Some of Bob’s other clients at Rubenstein have included NewsCorp, the NFL, Tribeca Enterprises/Tribeca Film Festival, the NYC Marathon and Tishman Speyer. Prior to Rubenstein, Bob was a deputy press secretary for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. At the Mayor’s office his portfolio of agencies included the NYPD, FDNY, Criminal Justice, Parks, Office of Emergency Management, Law Department, Cultural Affairs and the Department of Education.
Please join me in welcoming Bob who will join our team on June 1.
-Michael

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