Relativity in Flux: Ron Burkle to Take Reins of Sports Division

Studio cleans house by ousting Relativity Sports president Happy Walters, co-COO Greg Shamo and CFO and co-COO Andrew Matthews.

In a day of rapid developments at Relativity Media, billionaire and Relativity board member Ron Burkle is poised to take the reins of the bankrupt studio's sports division.

"As a major investor in Relativity Sports, Relativity Media looks forward to working closely with Ron Burkle and The Yucaipa Companies as they invest in the company’s growth," a spokesperson for Relativity tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, Relativity Media's Andrew Matthews has stepped down from his post as CFO and co-COO. Similarly, Relativity Sports president Happy Walters is also leaving the bankrupt studio.

The two moves were characterized as not mutual, and both executives were let go.

"As Relativity continues to position itself to emerge from Chapter 11, Ryan Kavanaugh has terminated the employment of both Chief Financial Officer Andrew Matthews and President of Relativity Sports Happy Walters," the spokesperson said.

A source close to the company said that Kavanaugh intends to terminate co-COO Greg Shamo’s employment shortly, possibly by the end of the day.

Walters released his own statement about his departure. "I have great respect and admiration for the talented agents I brought to Relativity Sports, and I leave confident that the company is in good hands," he said. "I want to thank Ryan for his vision to get Relativity’s sports platform going. With Ron Burkle taking over the chairmanship of Sports, there is a solid foundation for continued growth, and I wish the company much success. This is the appropriate time for me to write the next chapter of my career, and I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead."

The source close to the company said it is searching for Matthews' replacement but didn't address the vacant posts left by Walters or Shamo's departure.

Matthews, Walters and Shamo's exits follow on the heels of news Monday that Relativity president and board member Tucker Tooley is leaving the company. President of production Robbie Brenner also exited the studio last month to run the film division at The Firm.

Relativity CEO Kavanaugh is in the process of trying to win back a large chunk of his studio, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. Earlier this week, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles approved a $125 million bid from an investment group led by Anchorage Capital Group, Falcon Investment Advisors and Luxor Capital Group to buy Relativity Media's television business.

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