Home Technology Paramount CEO Bob Bakish steps down as merger inches closer

Paramount CEO Bob Bakish steps down as merger inches closer

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Paramount CEO Bob Bakish steps down as merger inches closer

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Paramount has removed Bob Bakish as CEO — and it doesn’t have plans to fill the role. The company announced the news as part of its earnings results on Monday, which will leave Paramount reliant on a committee made up of three executives.

The new Office of the CEO consists of George Cheeks, the president and CEO of CBS; Chris McCarthy, the president and CEO of Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and Paramount Media Networks; and Brian Robbins, the president and CEO of Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon. Reports first emerged of Bakish’s potential departure on Friday.

Bakish has been with the company since 1997 and became CEO of Viacom in 2016. He remained in the position when Viacom and CBS Corporation merged in 2019 to form Paramount Global, guiding the company through the launch of Paramount Plus and its acquisition of Pluto TV. Bakish is also stepping down from Paramount’s board of directors.

For months now, Paramount has been in talks with several suitors that want to buy all or part of the company. It’s getting closer to a deal with Skydance Media, which has extended a final offer to merge with Paramount, according to a report from CNBC. The proposed deal involves Skydance paying a $3 billion cash infusion to buy back shares and pay debts, while also giving shareholders a larger stake than it offered previously, The New York Times reports. Paramount’s special committee still has to approve the deal.

A report from The Wall Street Journal suggests that Shari Redstone, the head of Paramount parent company National Amusements, and other board members haven’t been happy with Bakish’s leadership. As pointed out by the Journal, Paramount’s market value has dipped significantly since 2019, going from $25.3 billion to $8.4 billion.

“Paramount Global includes exceptional assets and we believe strongly in the future value creation potential of the Company,” Redstone says in a statement. “I have tremendous confidence in George, Chris and Brian. They have both the ability to develop and execute on a new strategic plan and to work together as true partners.”

Over the past few months, Paramount reported adding 3.7 million Paramount Plus subscribers, bringing its total number of members to 71 million globally. The service’s revenue also increased by 51 percent year over year, while overall advertising saw a boost thanks to the 2024 Super Bowl.

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