bob backish cover shoot
bob backish cover shoot

Bob Bakish Spills the Secrets on Successfully Running Viacom

As the CEO of Viacom, Bob Bakish has more than a few tips for hopeful executives.

“The most important thing is for your team, and that’s your senior team all the way down the organization, to understand what you’re trying to accomplish,” Bakish said during his recent Variety cover shoot. “That’s why we not only had a plan up on the 52nd floor that we kept in secret; we talked to our employee base…so people can understand how they fit in and can modify their own initiatives to better reinforce it.”

Bakish also shared his all-important business philosophy, which revolves around the mantra “you never know.” The business tycoon credited the phrase with Viacom’s acquisition of Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, which he initially thought the company would pass up.

However, Bakish said his most important advice for executives looking to climb the corporate ladder is the simple act of planning.

“That’s not to say you’ll always get exactly what you plan to, but in the absence of a plan, how do you know where you’re going?” he said. “So I believe everyone should have a plan and should use that to guide decisions.”

Popular on Variety

More Uncovered

  • Jenji Kohan with two-time Emmy winner

    'Orange Is the New Black' Creator Jenji Kohan and Star Uzo Aduba Bid Farewell

    Netflix’s most-watched original series, “Orange Is the New Black,” is finally over after seven seasons. Creator Jenji Kohan and star Uzo Aduba bid farewell to the series and reminisced on their favorite moments in Variety‘s cover story. “I’m dead inside. It’s not real yet that it’s over because it feels like a natural break between [...]

  • chris hemsworth variety Cover Story

    Chris Hemsworth Talks 'Men in Black' and Playing Hulk Hogan in Upcoming Biopic

    In Variety’s latest cover story, Chris Hemsworth opened up about tackling back-to-back blockbusters with “Avengers: Endgame” and the upcoming “Men in Black: International,” in which he stars opposite Tessa Thompson. “I had just come off of ‘Avengers,’ and I was looking for another sort of fantasy larger-than-life driven sort of entertaining film, and this came [...]

  • George Clooney (L) and Christophr Abbot

    George Clooney Watched 'Girls' 'Religiously' but Christopher Abbott Hasn't Seen 'ER'

    For this week’s cover story, “Catch-22” co-stars George Clooney and Christopher Abbott sat down with Variety to discuss their upcoming Hulu miniseries and overall body of work. Abbott admitted he has never seen “ER,” which Clooney starred in. Clooney, on the other hand, said he watched Abbott’s HBO series “Girls” “religiously.” Abbott said “Solaris” is [...]

Most Popular

Access exclusive content