Veteran ICM Partners executive Rick Levy has stepped down from his duties as chief operating officer and will transition out of the agency at the end of 2020, insiders familiar with the company told Variety.
Levy added the title of COO to his long-standing role of general counsel in October, following the short-lived tenure of former Tribune Publishing executive Justin Dearborn. He remains general counsel and will work closely with agency chief Chris Silbermann through the end of the year.
Levy, who announced his departure at an all company staff meeting on January 27, is leaving by choice, which an ICM spokesman confirmed.
The COO job was effectively dissolved in January, according to a source, when the duties of that office were split between agency co-presidents Kevin Crotty and Sloan Harris. Levy’s intent to wind down was announced at that time, though word has circulated anew amid the coronavirus pandemic. He will continue to serve on boards, including that of U.K. agency Primary Talent, which ICM acquired in March.
ICM will need to fill his role as general counsel, expertise that will be crucial to the agency as the industry attempts to navigate the return to production following the coronavirus lockdown, which has shuttered film and TV productions, and considerably slowed dealmaking.
Levy is believed to be one of the longest-serving ICM employees still at the company, having come on board in 1997. The well-liked executive was the noted right-hand to former agency chief Jeff Berg. He was a key player in hammering out the complicated split between ICM and its former private equity partner Rizvi Traverse, which led to the ICM becoming a partner-owned shop in May 2012. He also represents ICM in the Association of Talent Agents, presently embroiled in a turbulent struggle with the Writers Guild of America.
A wide restructuring was put in place last fall when Dearborn resigned after seven months, along with human resources chief Cindy Ballard, which Variety reported exclusively. In addition to upping Crotty and Harris, Adam Schweitzer was named managing director in talent and branding. In New York, Jennifer Joel was tapped as co-head of publishing alongside the long-serving Esther Newberg.