MGM co-chairman Dennis C. Stanfill has officially resigned his position effective immediately, Credit Lyonnais confirmed Tuesday. Stanfill, who reportedly cleaned out his office over a week ago, did not answer numerous phone calls.
Highly placed MGM sources added that the exit of MGM prexy Charles Meeker is also on the horizon, but that he still has a few tasks to fulfill before ankling. Meeker also did not answer calls.
The bank said it will retain Stanfill as a “senior adviser … with respect to the management of the bank’s entertainment and cinema assets.” Sources speculated he would still receive $ 3.95 million: the balance of his $ 2.5 million salary through Dec. 31 plus $ 2.5 million severance.
This leaves co-chairman Alan Ladd Jr. alone at the studio helm with a co-pilot seat sources expect to remain empty. Ladd would not comment.
“Having co-chairs is always an awkward situation … it is not natural,” explained Credit Lyonnais spokesman Fred Spar, but he dismissed earlier reports that Stanfill had in fact been edged out of his spot by CL brass two weeks ago.
“He was in no way pressured to leave,” Spar said, describing the former co-chair’s relationship with the French bank as “amicable.”
Spar added that Stanfill’s departure was “absolutely not” connected to the reputed friction between Stanfill and Ladd. “It is just the appropriate time for him to leave,” Spar concluded. “Things have started to turn around (for MGM) and business is in a much more positive state.”
Meeker, who has recently been put in charge of shepherding MGM’s new distrib relationship with Carolco, is also not expected to be replaced.
Meeker formerly oversaw the MGM theater chain in Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark. However, Stanfill hired Bill Doeren last February as chairman of MGM Intl. Cinemas.
Shortly after Credit Lyonnais booted former MGM-Pathe topper Giancarlo Parretti from power in April 1991, Meeker was responsible for resolving pending legal matters against MGM and its former parent, Pathe Communications Corp.