Giant theater chain AMC Entertainment has promoted Ellen Copaken to SVP Marketing, effective immediately. She was also appointed to sit on the company’s management executive committee.
Copaken joined AMC in February of as VP, Growth Strategy, and led the exhibitor’s AMC Perfectly Popcorn launch in more than 2,600 Walmart stores (and Walmart.com) ), delivering “sales results that well exceeded company expectations,” the company said in its announcement today. She previously held top marketing roles at big brands including Frito-Lay, PepsiCo and Hostess.
CEO Adam Aron frequently touts the popcorn initiative, including on a conference call this week, when he also confirmed that AMC is planning to launch branded candy at its theaters.
Copaken will retain her current responsibilities for AMC’s retail popcorn business, in addition to her new marketing duties.
She succeeds Eliot Hamlisch, who AMC said had been commuting across the country to AMC’s Leawood, Kansas headquarters from his residence in northern New Jersey. For personal reasons, Hamlisch was unable to relocate permanently.
“Ellen Copaken has truly distinguished herself as she grabbed the reins of our desire to launch AMC Perfectly Popcorn to the home market. In the year and a half that she has been with us, her talent, skill, and affable nature have been obvious to all who have interacted with her. I could not be more excited to be working with her as she now also assumes the leadership of our Marketing efforts,” said CEO Adam Aron.
AMC’s grocery popcorn initiative will move to the Marketing department and continue to be overseen by Copaken and her popcorn team.
The role of Mark Pearson, SVP & chief strategy officer, to whom Copaken previously reported, is unchanged and he will continue to lead AMC’s strategic and innovative growth opportunities reporting directly to Aron.
AMC’s external communications, led by Ryan Noonan, VP, corporate communications & public relations, will now also report directly to Aron.
AMC’s internal communications efforts will move to HR, led by Carla Chavarria.