Montgomery was named CEO of ITV’s U.S. production outpost in 2015, after the U.K. TV giant acquired his Leftfield Pictures for a whopping $360 million. Leftfield was part of an acquisition spree of U.S. and U.K.-based independent production entities that have been rolled up under the ITV America banner. Montgomery is coming up on the end of his earn-out contract with ITV and opted to return to his entrepreneurial roots.
ITV America has set a production pact with Montgomery’s new venture, which he describes as focused on building broad-based entertainment businesses around talent that cross into various media platforms.
George worked with Montgomery at Leftfield prior to the ITV acquisition. He took over as head of that banner after Montgomery was elevated to ITV America CEO. George was named president of ITV America last year.
Montgomery will remain a consultant to ITV for the next six months. The transition also comes as the ITV parent company has undergone a CEO transition with former airline executive Carolyn McCall taking over earlier this month from Adam Crozier.
“I fully understand Brent’s decision; he’s an entrepreneur at heart and this move takes him back to what he loves doing most,” said Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios. “Brent hands over a business in great shape with an exceptionally strong team behind it. It’s a testament to his leadership that we are able to appoint a new CEO from within the group.”
Among the recent shows launched by ITV America are Fox’s singing competition series “The Four” and the upcoming Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”
“While I couldn’t be happier to embark on my next entrepreneurial chapter, leaving the hardworking, supremely talented and genuinely amazing people of ITV America, and what we created together, was the most difficult decision of my career,” Montgomery said. “Now, as I look to build and grow a new company, I am thrilled to continue to partner with ITV America – the best in the business and whose great fortune it is now to be led by my longtime partner David George.”
Ed Simpson, ITV America’s exec VP of business development and international, will join Montgomery in the new company.
George expressed his gratitude to Montgomery and Bellamy for the opportunity to take the CEO reins.
“ITV America encompasses an amazing group of people, and we are focused on how we can reimagine what a production company can be,” George said. “Creating content is a team sport, and together we will continue the legacy of this company, making bold moves and adapting to what comes.”
(Pictured: David George, Brent Montgomery)