Universal bringing in new marketing president; Eddie Egan moves to Illumination
[Update, 6:22 p.m.: Longtime Sony Pictures advertising executive Josh Goldstine will be named Universal's new president of marketing, people familiar with the matter confirmed. Details here.]
Universal Pictures is shaking up its marketing department and preparing to bring in a new president, moving current top executive Eddie Egan to the studio's family entertainment partner Illumination Entertainment.
The studio announced Wednesday that Egan, who has headed marketing since former department head Adam Fogelson was named chairman of Universal in 2009, will become president of marketing at Illumination, a new position. Universal-owned Illumination, headed by Chris Meledandri, is expanding its capacity to produce two films a year following the 2010 hit "Despicable Me" and the recently released "Hop," which was a modest success.
People close to Universal have for months been expecting a change in Universal's marketing department and said Fogelson had privately indicated that a change would be coming. Michael Moses, who is currently Universal's co-president of marketing and previously reported to Egan, is expected to remain in his job.
Universal is making a switch now in order to have a new marketing president work on the slate of films being greenlighted by Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley that are just beginning to roll out, according to a person familiar with the situation. For the last 18 months, Universal was releasing movies mostly originated under former chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde, when Langley headed production and Fogelson had the marketing job.
The studio's two most recent releases, put into production by Fogelson and Langley, "Fast Five" and "Bridesmaids," have been hits. They came after a string of flops including the pair's first movie "The Dilemma," as well as "Green Zone" and "The Wolfman."
Egan has worked at Universal since 1994 and previously held marketing jobs at Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. While working at Illumination, he will remain a "senior executive advisor" to Fogelson, Langley and vice chairman Rick Finkelstein.
David Kosse, president of Universal Pictures International, will continue to run overseas marketing for the studio.
-- Ben Fritz