Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Formally Exiting Firm

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At this time, Paramount introduced Bob Bakish was stepping down from his position as CEO and from its board of administrators.

The information got here amid ongoing unique acquisition talks with Skydance Media and forward of the corporate’s first-quarter earnings name, which Bakish wasn’t anticipated to hitch.

Within the CEO’s absence, Paramount World has established an “Workplace of the CEO,” led by George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS; Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of Showtime/MTV Leisure Studios and Paramount Media Networks; and Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Photos and Nickelodeon. The three executives will work intently with CFO Naveen Chopra and the board of administrators.

The Workplace of the CEO will look to develop a long-term plan to speed up the corporate’s progress, develop content material, streamline operations, strengthen the stability sheet and optimize streaming methods, in accordance with the corporate.

“Paramount World contains distinctive property and we consider strongly sooner or later worth creation potential of the corporate. I’ve great confidence in George, Chris and Brian,” Shari Redstone, chair of the board, stated in a press release. “They’ve each the power to develop and execute on a brand new strategic plan and to work collectively as true companions. I’m extraordinarily excited for what their mixed management means for Paramount World and for the alternatives that lie forward.”

Bakish has been at Paramount (beforehand Viacom) since 1997, changing into CEO of Viacom in 2016 and the CEO of the mixed firm in 2019. Nonetheless, The Wall Avenue Journal reported on Friday that the CEO’s management has come into query throughout Skydance Media and RedBird Capital acquisition talks. As an illustration, the corporate has more and more misplaced worth with Bakish on the helm, falling from $25.3 billion in 2019 to round $8.4 billion in the present day.

“The board and I thank Bob for his many contributions over his lengthy profession, together with within the formation of the mixed firm in addition to his profitable efforts to rebuild the good tradition Paramount has lengthy been recognized for. We want him all the most effective,” Redstone added.

Merger talks have swirled round Paramount since late final yr when Warner Bros. Discovery was rumored to have an interest within the firm, regardless of its rising $15 billion in debt on the time.

Regardless of Bakish’s exit, CNBC’s Alex Sherman reported Monday {that a} merger with Skydance Media stays unsure, because of shareholders doubtlessly having fairness diluted in a merger.