×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brad Grey Officially Out at Paramount

Brad Grey is officially out as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures after 12 rocky years at the helm of the studio. He will be replaced on an interim basis by a committee of executives that will include Andrew Gumpert, the Sony alum who joined Paramount as chief operating officer in November; Megan Colligan, president of distribution and marketing; Marc Evans, president of the motion picture group; Mark Badagliacca, chief financial officer, and Amy Powell, president of TV and digital.

Paramount’s corporate parent, Viacom, has already begun reaching out to potential replacements for Grey.

Grey wrote an email to staff announcing his exit, saying that he is handing over the bulk of his duties on Wednesday, but will remain engaged with the transition.

“From the moment I came to Paramount in 2005, I saw myself as a steward of an iconic institution,” Grey wrote. “I never could have dreamed that privilege would last more than 12 years. In that time, it has been my honor to work with a group of wildly talented storytellers.  The core of our successes has always been their unique ability to entertain and inspire people around the world. ”

News of Grey’s ouster leaked late last week, but the executive was under contract through 2020 and had to negotiate his exit package.

On his watch, Paramount succeeded with tentpole franchises including “Transformers,” “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible,” but suffered costly misses with a string of flops including “Ben-Hur,” “Allied,” “Zoolander 2,” “Monster Trucks” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Paramount’s film output has shrunk dramatically in the past five years, and the studio posted a loss of $180 million during the most recent fiscal quarter and red ink of about $450 million for Viacom’s 2016 fiscal year.

Grey succeeded Sherry Lansing as the leader of Paramount in 2005. He came to the Melrose lot after a long and successful partnership in talent management with the late Bernie Brillstein, which turned their Brillstein-Grey Entertainment into the industry’s top management-production company.

Paramount’s fortunes have fallen along with those of Viacom. The media conglomerate suffered through a bruising fight for corporate control that pitted former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Shari Redstone, daughter of Viacom controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone. It was a battle Dauman, an ally of Grey, lost, but one that saw Viacom’s stock swoon as a result.

In a statement, Bob Bakish, the newly minted Viacom CEO, said, “Brad has overseen the production and distribution of some of Paramount’s most celebrated hits, and more recently championed the successful relaunch of the studio’s television division.”

Bakish sees Paramount playing a central role in Viacom’s revival. He outlined a plan earlier this month that will see the studio collaborating on one to two movies a year from Viacom cable properties such as MTV and Comedy Central. In turn, Paramount will create content that can inspire television programming.

Here’s the full text of Grey’s staff-wide memo:

I am writing to let you know that I am leaving Paramount. I will hand over most of my duties effective today, but will remain engaged in the coming weeks to support a smooth transition.

It has been my privilege to be a part of Paramount’s storied history, and I am grateful to Sumner Redstone for giving me this opportunity.  I want to wish Shari, Bob and their entire team the best as they embark on Viacom’s next chapter. 

From the moment I came to Paramount in 2005, I saw myself as a steward of an iconic institution. I never could have dreamed that privilege would last more than 12 years.

In that time, it has been my honor to work with a group of wildly talented storytellers.  The core of our successes has always been their unique ability to entertain and inspire people around the world. 

Above all, I am indebted to all of you, the wonderful people here at Paramount. Your creativity, professionalism and integrity are second to none. I am grateful to everyone who helped me along the way and I look forward to new adventures. 

Thank you.

Best,

Brad

More Film

  • Corey Stoll Brian dArcy James

    'West Side Story' Remake Adds Corey Stoll, Brian d'Arcy James as Cops

    Steven Spielberg has cast Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James as police officers in his movie adaptation of “West Side Story.” Stoll will take on the role of Lieutenant Schrank, the New York City detective charged with quelling civic unrest in his racially-torn precinct. James will play Sergeant Krupke, a veteran cop whose beat includes [...]

  • Alexander Dinelaris

    'Jekyll and Hyde' Movie in the Works Based on Broadway Musical

    The Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde” is getting the movie treatment from Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris. Dinelaris, who is writing and producing the adaptation, won an Oscar for the “Birdman” script and was a co-producer on “The Revenant.” He is producing “Jekyll and Hyde” as the first project under his New York-based development company, [...]

  • Will Smith Bright - Japan premiere

    Three Six Zero Acquires Will Smith and Miguel Melendez's Westbrook Entertainment

    International entertainment and music management company Three Six Zero has acquired Westbrook Entertainment, the talent management company which represents Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Kenna and Crespo. “Bringing Miguel, his clients and his management team to Three Six Zero is an exciting next step on our journey to expand our entertainment [...]

  • Chris Cooper

    Chris Cooper Joins, Focus Features Boards Jon Stewart's Political Comedy 'Irresistible'

    Focus Features is partnering with Plan B Entertainment to produce and distribute Jon Stewart’s political comedy “Irresistible,” with Chris Cooper joining stars Steve Carell and Rose Byrne. Variety first reported in October that Stewart and Carell had boarded the project, with Stewart directing and producing with Plan B. Stewart has kept a low profile since [...]

  • Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the

    'Toy Story 4': Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the Road in New Trailer

    Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and a strange new toy named Forky have returned in the new trailer for “Toy Story 4” that sends the gang out on the road. Disney unveiled the footage Tuesday with Woody telling the other toys that Forky — a craft-project-turned-toy — is the most important toy to Bonnie. He [...]

  • Warner Bros. HQ LA

    Warner Bros. CFO Kim Williams Tapped for Interim Leadership Team (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. Entertainment is setting an interim leadership team to lead the Hollywood studio following the abrupt dismissal of CEO Kevin Tsujihara on Monday. As Variety first reported, the team will consist of Warner Bros. motion pictures group chairman Toby Emmerich and Warner Bros. television group president and CCO Peter Roth. It will also include [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content