Paramount CEO Steps Down

( – Paramount bills itself as “one of the world’s leading producers of premium entertainment content.” However, the giant, which owns CBS, MTV, and Comedy Central, to name a few, is suffering in the face of a changing landscape as more people choose streaming over cable TV. Its management has now decided a shake-up is necessary and its CEO, Bob Bakish, is out.

On Monday, April 29, Paramount released a statement announcing the company was parting ways with Bakish, who has been at the helm since 2019. He has worked for the company since 1997 and was previously the CEO of Viacom, which merged with CBS Corporation. He is being replaced by not one, but three other people, in what is being termed “Office of the CEO.” Executives Brian Robbins, George Cheeks, and Chris McCarthy will run it.

Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, and Bakish were previously allies but she had reportedly grown frustrated with his lack of urgency in taking advantage of opportunities, such as the sale of the company’s BET and Showtime cable networks. One private equity firm had offered $5.5 billion for Showtime alone.

Bakish’s departure is raising many questions, including about the future of Paramount. Currently, the company is facing a merger with Skydance, something not all shareholders are on board with, and rumors say Bakish was skeptical of. However, plummeting share prices and failure to gain streaming customers are working against Paramount, hence the need for the shake-up. In regards to streaming, the company has lost more than $1 billion over the past six months.

Redstone has reportedly already signed off on a deal for her stake in the company, but negotiations for the rest are still underway.

Bakish is leaving the company with a substantial payout that includes a $50.6 million severance package, $31 million of which is in cash in the two years following his departure.

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