Universal Pictures' Chief Spokesperson Kori Bernards Steps Down

Kori Bernards - S 2015
Courtesy of NBC

Kori Bernards - S 2015

Universal's Jeff Shell calls her "a key advisor and friend" as he announces her decision.

Kori Bernards is stepping down as senior vp communications at Universal Pictures, where for the past seven years she has served as the studio’s chief spokesman.

Jeff Shell, chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, announced her decision to leave the company in an email to the studio's staff. "Kori's departure will be a loss for many of us here," he wrote, speaking on behalf of himself, NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer and Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley.

"Since 2008, Koris has helped shepherd the studio through some of its toughest times and into some of its best," he wrote. "She deserves enormous credit for having shaped the positive perception that surrounds our company and our executive team today — our most profitable and best year at the box office in Universal's 103-year history."

Currently, the studio is riding high on the basis of a series of hits that includes the just-opened Minions as well as Jurassic World, Furious 7 and Fifty Shades of Grey.

Shell also passed along Langley's words, with the studio chief testifying, "We will miss Kori's exceptional skills as a communications strategist, and we'll miss the depth of her relationships throughout the company and the larger community. I know whatever she does next will be worthy of her passion, dedication and abilities."

Shell also passed along a note from Bernards in which she said she'd been honored to work for the company but explained, "For some time now, I've wanted to step back, take a break, and figure out the next chapter of my life and of my family's life. And now I'm ready to do exactly that. I will miss coming to the lot every day and working with all of you."

Bernards will stay on and served as an advisor through a transition period while the company looks for a new head of communications, Shell said.