The New York attorney general is objecting to the appointment of Weinstein Co. veteran David Glasser to be CEO of the company under new ownership.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a civil rights investigation of the company last fall. The office has concerns that Glasser, who was COO under Harvey Weinstein, did nothing to protect employees from sexual abuses, a source told Variety, and would be the wrong person to lead the company.
An investor group backed by billionaire Ron Burkle has been negotiating to buy the troubled company for the last two weeks. The group, officially led by former Small Business Administration chief Maria Contreras-Sweet, was expected to seal a $500 million deal as soon as Sunday.
Schneiderman’s office has also raised questions about the investor group’s proposal to establish a $20-30 million fund for Weinstein’s victims. The office has questioned whether the “fund” amounts to anything beyond the Weinstein Co.’s insurance coverage, which the insurers may try to avoid paying out.
The attorney general’s reservations could create a serious obstacle as the Burkle-backed group seeks to finalize the sale. The office is expected to file a lawsuit imminently, as it seeks to block Glasser from taking the CEO’s job and to establish a more robust plan for Weinstein’s victims. The investor group has yet to respond to the attorney general’s concerns.
Though she plans to change the name of the company, Contreras-Sweet intends to maintain the company’s current operations, including keeping all 150 Weinstein Co. employees. Having Glasser in the top job could make for a smoother transition.
Glasser came to the Weinstein Co. in 2008, after working for Yari Film Group, and quickly became Harvey Weinstein’s right-hand man. In October, Variety reported that Glasser had been denied a top executive job at DreamWorks Animation in 2015 owing to his checkered history of litigation. (Glasser denied that the offer was withdrawn.)
The investor group is expected to pay $275 million in equity for the distressed company, and to assume $225 million in debt.