Sony Pictures lays off employees in technology group, including leader

Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Sony Pictures Entertainment has laid off an undisclosed number of people from its Sony Pictures Technologies group, including the unit’s president, Chris Cookson.

The studio confirmed the layoffs, which occurred Wednesday, saying in a statement that the functions of Sony Pictures Technologies would be absorbed “into various core businesses.”

A spokesman for the Sony Corp.-owned studio declined to say how many people were losing their jobs. The Technologies division handles the studio’s technology policy and processes as they relate to creating content.


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Sony Pictures is in the midst of an effort to reduce its overheard by $250 million. The studio, run by Chairman Michael Lynton and Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, has also hired consultancy Bain & Co. to examine the studio’s expenditures, with the goal of at least $100 million more in cuts.

In recent months, studio executives including Marc Weinstock, the former head of domestic and international marketing, and Steve Elzer, the former senior vice president of media relations, have been let go.

Also laid off Wednesday was Mitch Singer, Sony Pictures’ chief digital strategy officer, who spearheaded the studio’s UltraViolet initiative, which gives consumers access to movies they’ve purchased across different devices.

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On Tuesday, an undisclosed number of people were laid off from the studio’s Sony Pictures Imageworks division as part of a plan to relocate some Los Angeles-based staffers to another of the group’s offices in Vancouver, Canada.


The Imageworks group works on visual effects for feature films.

“Sony Pictures Imageworks is committed to our headquarters in Los Angeles and we have a healthy slate of projects through 2014 including Columbia Pictures’ ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and Warner Bros.’ ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’” a spokesman said in a statement.


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