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Valerie Van Galder to exit Sony Pictures; Marc Weinstock to take over marketing

June 24, 2009 |  7:45 pm

Valerie Van Galder, co-president of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment, will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of the year. Co-president Marc Weinstock will assume her duties and be the studio's sole marketing president under Sony Pictures marketing and distribution chief Jeff Blake.

Van Galder, a marketing veteran who has worked at Sony for the last 10 years, said that it was her choice to step down and that she'd been planning the move for some time. After she relinquishes her executive job, Van Galder will take on a consulting role.

Given that Van Galder was promoted into her current position just a year ago, it would appear unusual that she would willingly give up one of the most coveted movie marketing jobs in Hollywood. But the 47-year-old executive, whose husband works and lives in London, said that she never intended the position to be long-term. "Most people don't walk away from a job like this," Van Galder said in an interview today. "But being head of marketing at a major studio is not what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal called Van Galder "a brilliant marketer who I'm looking forward to working with on a lot of movies."

A free-spoken and effusive executive known more for her innovative campaigns than for her management skills, Van Galder previously headed marketing for Sony's genre label Screen Gems, where she successfully promoted such films as "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" and "Underworld." Three years ago she was tapped for a larger marketing role at Sony, where she worked on such pictures as "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," "Superbad" and "Spider-Man 3."

Before Sony, Van Galder and Weinstock worked together in marketing and publicity at specialty film distributor Fox Searchlight.

-- Claudia Eller