Paramount Pictures Cuts Staff in TV, Business Affairs, Legal (EXCLUSIVE)

Paramount Pictures HQ LA
Michael Buckner for Variety

Paramount Pictures laid off roughly 20 staff members from several departments on Tuesday as part of a restructuring effort, insiders familiar with the matter told Variety.

Departments including legal, business affairs, TV and finance were affected. Cuts were not major and largely affected back-office staff. Paramount chief operating officer Andrew Gumpert addressed the matter in a memo to employees.

The cuts will “streamline efficiency, foster talent across multiple divisions of the company, and augment synergy and cross-functionality amongst different teams,” read the memo obtained by Variety.

A studio spokesperson confirmed the cuts but declined to comment further. There were additional hires and promotions as part of the restructuring. Robert West was hired as VP of production at Paramount TV; Debra Bergman was elevated to head of physical production in that department; and Ken Basin was promoted to EVP of business affairs.

Read the full text of the memo:

Dear All,

As you all are aware, a year ago Viacom kicked off a significant transformation effort to ensure we’re running our business as efficiently as we can – to both save more money, and ensure we can invest in new areas of growth. With that comes some exciting, but also necessary changes, including for our studio. In pursuit of this mandate, we have taken a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the organization on an overall, holistic level, and identified where we can make our processes more efficient and better utilize our workforce and resources to maximize success for the company as a whole.

With that perspective in mind, we will be seeing restructuring in our ranks that will streamline efficiency, foster talent across multiple divisions of the company, and augment synergy and cross-functionality amongst different teams.

This transformation is not painless and comes with some hard decisions that we feel are necessary to move our business forward. As a consequence, today we are making some changes across the organization, which will impact the Finance, Legal, Business & Legal Affairs and Television teams. While this transformation impacts a very small number of our work force, it was difficult nonetheless, and we extend our most sincere thanks to the affected team members for their contributions, and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

As an organization, we continue on a trajectory of renewal and reinvigoration, and I am proud and optimistic to reflect on all we have achieved in the past year and the growth and continued transformation that I see in our future.

Thank you for being valued members of this company, and working together to ensure a bright future for us all.