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Consumer Products, Product Placement and Promotions Units Merged

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LOS ANGELES ( -- Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group has consolidated its consumer products and promotions divisions, and has promoted George Leon to head the new
George Leon heads the movie studio's new worldwide consumer marketing unit.
unit as executive vice president of worldwide consumer marketing.

Mr. Leon has served as executive vice president for worldwide promotions and product placement for Sony Pictures Entertainment since 2003, brokering tie-in deals for all of Columbia's films. He joined the company in 2000.

Mr. Leon will now manage theatrical licensing, merchandising and consumer products in addition to product placement and worldwide promotions, reporting to Geoffrey Ammer, president of worldwide marketing for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.

One-stop source at Sony
The consolidation move creates a one-stop shop for Sony's promotional partners and licensing vendors worldwide. Sony becomes the second studio in just as many years to fold the two units together, after Beth Goss was named executive vice president of the Brand Group at Universal Pictures in 2002.

"George has guided innovative and phenomenally successful promotions with blue chip brands around the globe," Mr. Ammer said. "With his skills, contacts and experience in licensing, promotions and retail merchandising, we believe he understands the needs of our partners and he will harness the power of these alliances to increase the value of these relationships in exciting new ways."

The consolidation is taking place as Al Ovadia is leaving the company as the head of Sony Consumer Products, a position he held since 2001.

Movie campaigns
Mr. Leon most recently worked on the promotional campaigns for Spider-Man and its sequel, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Men in Black II and XXX. He is currently developing the campaigns for the big-screen adaptation of Bewitched, Fun with Dick and Jane, Memoirs of a Geisha, and XXX: State of the Union and Stealth.

Before joining Sony, Mr. Leon served as vice president of promotions for Fox Family Worldwide/Saban Entertainment, and was director of sales and marketing at Camelot Licensing.

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