Michael Vollman joins MGM, UA

Will manage and consult movie marketing strategies

MGM chief Mary Parent has hired Michael Vollman for the newly created dual positions of executive vp theatrical marketing for MGM worldwide motion picture group and president of marketing for United Artists.

Vollman, who will report to Parent, will manage all theatrical marketing activities at MGM as well as consult with United Artists CEO Paula Wagner on marketing strategies for upcoming UA releases.

The previous president of marketing and publicity at UA, Dennis Rice, resigned last week.

Vollman's first challenge will be effecting a change in public perception about the World War II Tom Cruise drama "Valkyrie," which UA is releasing in February. Other upcoming MGM/UA releases that Vollman will address, derived from outside studios, include "Brothers," "How to Lose Friends & Alienate People" and "Perfect Getaway."

In taking the MGM job, Vollman leaves behind his post as executive vp integrated marketing and national publicity for Paramount, which he had held since April 2007. Vollman originally shifted to Paramount in 2006 after the studio bought DreamWorks, where he had spent a decade working on field marketing, online marketing and media promotions.

Over the years, Vollman has had a hand in marketing campaigns for "American Beauty," "The Rock," "The Ring," "Shrek" and "Shrek the Third," "The Lion King," "Transformers" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," among others.

Vollman has a prior relationship with Cruise and Wagner from working on the campaigns for "Mission: Impossible III" and "War of the Worlds" at Paramount.

Vollman's move also fueled speculation that Terry Press, his mentor at DreamWorks, could take MGM's top marketing job, which remains open.