Christine Birch is out as head of domestic marketing at Sony Pictures, Variety has learned. Her status at the studio has been in question after employee complaints about alleged marijuana use on the Sony lot prompted a human resources investigation, first reported by Variety on March 21.

Birch denied to human resources executives that she smoked pot at the office. There was a growing sense, however, that Birch’s position at the company was untenable and that employees in the department were balking at working under the executive due to her caustic style.

She was asked to take a leave as an investigation took place. The investigation found no official wrongdoing and Birch was not suspended.

But it’s understood that Birch came to agree with the company’s senior leadership that a return to work had become impossible after news broke about the investigation. Birch joined Sony in 2016 from Focus Features, where she was president of marketing.

At Sony, she was quickly promoted from a creative marketing executive to the head of the domestic marketing team. She replaced Dwight Caines, the previous Sony domestic marketing chief. Read more from…

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