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There are more changes at Paramount Pictures under president and CEO Brian Robbins.
The studio said on Tuesday that Courtney D. Armstrong is joining Paramount as president of business affairs and administration. Meanwhile, senior executive vp business and legal affairs Stephen Plum is departing Paramount. Jay Galston, executive vp strategic planning and business development, is also leaving.
In the new role, Armstrong — a longtime veteran of Warner Bros. — will oversee business and legal affairs for all of the studio’s live-action and animation production divisions. Additionally, he will also lead the studio’s business development team. In that capacity, he will not only oversee the analysis and evaluation of all new business opportunities for Paramount, but will work on the company’s strategic planning activities.
Armstrong begins his new position effective Oct. 29.
“Anyone who knows or works with Courtney can attest that his exemplary business and legal mind, as well as his standout leadership qualities, put him at the very top of his field. He will be a tremendous addition to Paramount, and we could not be more fortunate to have him on our team,” Paramount COO Andrew Gumpert, to whom Armstrong will report, said in a statement.
The moves arrive as incoming film chief Robbins remakes the division after the ouster of Jim Gianopulos in September. In the past month, film president Emma Watts exited, as well as communications chief Chris Petrikin, and Paramount executives Daria Cercek and Mike Ireland were named new co-heads of the studio. Additionally, Nickelodeon’s Ramsey Naito replaced Mireille Soria as animation chief.
Robbins inherits a film slate that includes new installments of Star Trek, Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Transformers, A Quiet Place and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises plus originals like Damien Chazelle’s drama Babylon and The Lost City, starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt.
Armstrong arrives from Warner Bros. Pictures, where he’s been an executive since 2003, most recently serving as executive vp worldwide business affairs.
Gumpert revealed the business affairs news in a note to staff. “I would also like to share that Senior Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs Stephen Plum and Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning & Business Development Jay Galston will be leaving the company,” Gumpert wrote.
The Paramount COO added: “Stephen and Jay have been critical strategic executives in both steering the company to profitability and building out our film slate, and their work on behalf of Paramount has been immensely impactful. They have both been valued colleagues and leaders during their time here, and we thank them for their years of service and many positive contributions to the company.”
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