Sony Home Entertainment Exec Steps Down Amid Pending Layoffs

Matt Brown
Matt Brown
 Courtesy of Sony Pictures

As Sony Pictures Entertainment prepares to inform a large number of people next week that they have been laid off, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Matt Brown, one of the company's top executives at home entertainment, is stepping down.

"Matt Brown, executive vp worldwide commercial for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, has announced his retirement effective March 31," Sony said in an email to THR. "During his tenure at SPHE, Matt was a key member of the management team, which helped to ensure the division's leadership position in the home entertainment industry. SPHE wishes to express gratitude for his contributions."

Brown was the first to occupy the position a little more than two years ago. The post was created as part of a restructuring initiative.

As for the looming layoffs, they are part of previously announced cost-cutting measures that came after activist shareholder Daniel Loeb publicly demanded that Sony's entertainment business make more money in the wake of such underperforming films as White House Down and After Earth.

Sony declined to comment on next week's layoffs, but they are expected to be wide-ranging, including several jobs lost within the motion picture group. In January, the company shut down Sony Pictures Technologies and made cuts at home entertainment and the VFX house Imageworks. Those moves brought the number of layoffs to 50 since SPE heads Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal initiated the cost-cutting measures last year.

Sony has hired consultants at Bain & Company to help identify ways it can slash about $100 million in costs.

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