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Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Steps Down as Merger Inches Closer

 |  April 29, 2024

Paramount Global announced the departure of CEO Bob Bakish as part of its recent earnings results. The decision comes amidst ongoing discussions regarding a potential merger and a shift in leadership strategy for the entertainment giant.

Paramount Global, the parent company of Paramount, revealed that instead of appointing a new CEO, the company will rely on a leadership committee composed of three seasoned executives. George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins will collectively steer the company forward, drawing upon their extensive experience in various sectors of the entertainment industry.

Bakish, who has been a stalwart figure within the company since 1997, assumed the role of CEO of Viacom in 2016 and continued in that position after Viacom merged with CBS Corporation in 2019 to form Paramount Global. Under his leadership, the company navigated the launch of Paramount Plus and the acquisition of Pluto TV. However, recent market performance has prompted scrutiny, with Paramount’s market value experiencing a significant decline since 2019.

Read more: Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global Face Mounting Concerns Over Proposed Merger

A report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that dissatisfaction among Paramount’s board members, including Shari Redstone, the head of Paramount’s parent company National Amusements, may have contributed to Bakish’s departure. Paramount’s market value plummeted from $25.3 billion to $8.4 billion during Bakish’s tenure.

In a statement addressing Bakish’s departure, Redstone expressed confidence in the new leadership team’s ability to develop and execute a new strategic plan. She highlighted their capacity to collaborate effectively and drive future value creation for the company.

Meanwhile, Paramount continues to explore potential merger opportunities. Reports indicate that the company is nearing a deal with Skydance Media, which could involve a $3 billion cash infusion to repurchase shares and alleviate debts. The proposed merger would also grant shareholders a larger stake than previously offered, pending approval from Paramount’s special committee.

Source: The Verge