David Linde
Marion Curtis/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Participant Media



A highly experienced and well-regarded expert in global cinema and sales, he has an extensive background in production, global distribution and building multiple companies from the ground up.

Before joining Participant as CEO in 2015, Linde, who’s responsible for leading the company’s overall strategy, day-to-day operations, content creation, advocacy, strategic investments and acquisitions, led Lava Bear Films, a production and financing company he founded with the support of Reliance Entertainment. Prior to Lava, Linde served as chairman of Universal, where he successfully championed a broad outlook regarding international productions, animation and family entertainment, and distribution.

Before that, Linde ran acclaimed specialty film studio Focus Features and its genre division, Rogue Pictures, both of which were formed from Universal’s acquisition of independent production company Good Machine, of which he was a partner.

During his tenure at Focus, Linde and co-president James Schamus oversaw a diverse slate that scored 53 Oscar nominations and 11 Academy Awards. Linde cut his teeth at Miramax and led the acquisition of Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures,” Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” and Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine,” as well as the international distribution of Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” Wes Craven’s “Scream,” and Anthony Minghella’s multi-Academy Award-winning “The English Patient.” Recent projects include “Neruda” and “A Monster Calls.”


  • Focus Features
  • Participant Media

News from Variety

Venice: David Linde on How 'Human Flow' Encapsulates Participant Media's New Course (EXCLUSIVE)

Venice: David Linde on How 'Human Flow' Encapsulates Participant Media's New Course (EXCLUSIVE)

VENICE, Italy — Participant Media's David Linde and Diane Weyermann made the trek to Venice for the world premiere Friday of Ai Weiwei’s migrant crisis doc “Human Flow,” which they say encapsulates exactly what the Hollywood mini-major is hoping to achieve with entertainment that aims to drive social change.“Ai Weiwei wasn’t trying to make an art movie,” Weyermann said about the ambitious piece shot over more than a year in 23 countries by the Chinese artist.“He was very clear about that....



What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your career?

“I’ve been lucky to receive very good advice from a broad spectrum of very smart people. I still remember when I was a relative kid, around our fevered pursuit of "Crying Game", Harvey said (simply and passionately): Always think about what more you can do and how can you do it even better, and then actually do it.”

What or who inspires you?

“So much, but it all starts with my parents, who are 93 and been married for 72 years. Their commitment to a just society (not to mention each other) is an absolute and an incredible beacon to follow. My wife and I have been together for 35 years and I work with Jeff Skoll, so it seems to have rubbed off!”

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