Paramount Global’s New Leadership Trio Tell Staff in Memo After Bakish Ouster: ‘We Know This Has Been a Challenging Time’

The three Paramount Global executives installed to run the company after Bob Bakish was removed as CEO sought to reassure employees that they have a long-term strategy.

On Monday, Paramount Global said Bakish was stepping down as CEO and leaving the board. In his place, the company established an “Office of the CEO” committee led by three divisional heads: George Cheeks, president and CEO of CBS; Chris McCarthy, president and CEO, Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks; and Brian Robbins, president and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon.

The shake-up added further fuel to the uncertainty about the media conglomerate’s future. Bakish’s exit came as the Paramount Global board and controlling shareholder Shari Redstone were working to close a deal to merge Paramount with David Ellison’s Skydance Media.

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The three new heads of Paramount Global’s Office of the CEO sent a memo to staff after the news was announced. They didn’t directly address the M&A negotiations that could dramatically reshape the company.

“Going forward, we are finalizing a new long-term plan to best position this storied company to reach new and greater heights in our rapidly changing world,” they wrote. “Alongside our many accomplished leaders and incredible teams, we’re excited to take these next steps together. Today’s strong Q1 earnings is a direct reflection of your incredible hard work, and we ask that you continue to stay focused as we move into this next chapter.”

Cheeks, McCarthy and Robbins continued: “We know this has been a challenging time, and the days ahead may be equally challenging as we adapt and collaborate in new ways together. The work we will need to do together is important and will set us up best for long-term success. Please know we will move forward with purpose, focus and passion on behalf of all our important stakeholders — all of you, our teams, our shareholders, creative partners, advertisers, and distribution partners.”

“We’d like to thank Shari and the Board for putting their trust in us. This new structure will allow us to continue leveraging the power of the entire company,” they wrote. “Ours is a partnership built on respect, camaraderie and, most importantly, a shared love of Paramount Global, its employees and our world-class content.”

Redstone, who serves as nonexecutive chair of Paramount Globa, also sent a companywide email. She also didn’t speak to the advanced talks with Skydance. “As a team, [Cheeks, McCarthy and Robbins] bring to bear incredible knowledge and understanding of our business and will bring stability to the company while simultaneously developing a long-range strategic plan to take full advantage of the opportunities ahead for Paramount Global,” she wrote in the memo. “We will need all of you to help drive execution of that plan. The strength of Paramount has always been our people. As we continue to work tirelessly to create and deliver award-winning content, accelerate growth and drive value for our shareholders, we have no doubt that you will help propel Paramount Global to even new heights.”

The three Paramount Global execs acknowledged their former boss, thanking him in the memo. “We also want to thank Bob for his leadership, many contributions and his support of our brands and businesses. We wish him well and much success in the days ahead.”

The trio concluded, “It’s a lot of news to digest and you probably have a lot of questions. We will be in touch over the days ahead with more updates including a town hall. Thank you for everything you do and for what we will do together in the future.“

Pictured above (l. to r.): George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, Brian Robbins

This post was originally published on Variety

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