Ron Geller Named Senior Vice President For Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment - Europe

PRNewswire
CULVER CITY, Calif.
Oct 9, 2000

Ron Geller has been appointed Senior Vice President for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE)-Europe, with responsibility to expand SPDE's online and interactive entertainment assets for European markets.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001009/LAM036 )

Based in London, Mr. Geller will concentrate initially on the U.K. audience, while seeking to identify additional market opportunities for SPDE on the European continent. Reporting to Yair Landau, President of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Mr. Geller will focus on developing and distributing interactive and enhanced television as well as SPDE's original online entertainment content and games.

Mr. Geller also will be responsible for cultivating relationships with major European Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Web sites, and will work with various Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) divisions in California to deliver dynamic online promotional and marketing opportunities with European carriers.

SPDE, led by Mr. Landau, was created in April 2000 to align SPE's digital production expertise with its award-winning online content distribution and interactive game services -- with the overall aim of producing dynamic, next-generation entertainment for the broadband content-delivery era. Mr. Geller's appointment underlines the substantial growth potential for SPDE in Europe, particularly in Britain, which has an established, expanding base of digital satellite, digital cable, digital terrestrial, and ADSL resources for distributing next generation entertainment content.

Mr. Geller joins SPDE from his position as Vice President, Corporate Development, Europe, for SPE. He recently spearheaded a business relationship with SPDE and London-based Channel 4 to launch an official United Kingdom Web site, Dawson's Desktop U.K., for Columbia TriStar's teen drama, "Dawson's Creek," marking SPDE's first international syndication of any of its properties. He joined SPE in 1994 as a Manager, Corporate Development, for the company's television businesses.

"We're delighted that Ron is joining us," Mr. Landau said. "His background in business development, combined with his experience in developing international television ventures for SPE, will be an asset as we extend our digital entertainment initiatives into the European markets."

"Europe is a vibrant and innovative market for us, and Ron's appointment establishes a key local presence as we extend our newest division internationally," said Mel Harris, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

"Building up SPDE's presence in Europe will be an exciting and challenging opportunity for me, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this new strategic focus at SPE," Mr. Geller said. "I look forward to expanding our digital entertainment assets into Europe, as well as developing several Europe- specific initiatives which capitalize on the unique digital infrastructure developments found in this part of the world."

SPDE currently oversees Sony Pictures Imageworks, the computer-generated imaging (CGI) house that created "Stuart Little," the animated mouse in the hit film of the same name; Sony Online Entertainment, the leading online games service whose Web site The Station@sony.com features such popular interactive games as "Everquest®," "Wheel of Fortune®," "JEOPARDY!®," "Trivial Pursuit®;" and the creation of original online entertainment, including "Dawson's Desktop" and SoapCity.com, which are adapted from SPE's branded film and TV properties.

Mr. Geller, a finance and marketing graduate of Syracuse University who holds an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles, worked on a variety of analyses and business plans in SPE's Corporate Development department. He was part of a team of executives who developed the SET-India channel and Game Show Network for SPE. He was promoted from Manager to Director of TV Corporate Development in 1996 and was involved in SPE's Telemundo acquisition, among other projects.

In 1997, Mr. Geller was promoted to Vice President, overseeing the TV Corporate Development operation. He moved to London in 1998 as Vice President of Corporate Development, Europe, where he was involved in the launch of SPE's AXN television channel in Israel and other corporate-level transactions. Mr. Geller joined SPE from Hughes Communications, where he worked in satellite communications from 1992-94. He previously spent two years with Bankers Trust in New York.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution, television production and distribution, home video acquisition and distribution, operation of studio facilities, development of new entertainment products, services and technologies, and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.spe.sony.com/.

About Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment

Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment (SPDE), an operating unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), oversees the activities of SPE's digital production and online assets which include Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment and Columbia TriStar Interactive (http://www.spe.sony.com/). SPDE focuses on three areas: 1) producing and developing of visual effects and computer-generated imaging (CGI), digital character animation, and original content for motion picture, television, online and PlayStation audiences; 2) tapping SPE's film and television libraries and its talent relationships to develop new forms of online content, games and interactive programming; and 3) leading SPE's efforts to provide video-on-demand, interactive television and the distribution of other forms of digital content and services over the emerging broadband networks.

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SOURCE: Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment

Contact: Don Levy of Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, 310-840-7315

Website: http://www.spe.sony.com/