Rich Battista, the recently boarded chief executive of Imagine Entertainment, has exited his post at the production company after joining but a few months ago in August, Variety has learned.
“Rich Battista has left Imagine Entertainment,” said Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, the founders of the company, in a joint statement. “We thank Rich for the time he spent working with us and the contributions he made, and we wish him the best going forward.”
Differing business philosophies surrounding execution of growth strategies and new business interests ultimately led to the split, according to a source familiar with situation, characterizing the departure as amicable. Given the lack of consensus about the path forward and the fast-paced dynamics of the media landscape, it was thought best that the break-up happen sooner rather than later, said the source.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to work with Brian and Ron and the team at Imagine and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future during this exciting time in the industry,” said Battista.
The former president and CEO of Time Inc., Battista had been tasked with working with Grazer and Howard to oversee Imagine’s core production business and expansion efforts. He had replaced Charlie Corwin, the former Endemol Shine North America chief who also had a short tenure at the company, resigning in April 2018 after less than a year at Imagine.
Imagine Entertainment’s upcoming projects include a Howard-directed adaptation of “Hillbilly Elegy” that will be released through Netflix.