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Harry E. Sloan has signed a deal to captain MGM as chairman and CEO for three more years. He originally came aboard to revamp the ailing studio in October 2005.
“To create another page in the storied history of MGM is the most exciting challenge I’ve had in my career,” said Sloan, who also invested in the company. “With the support of the MGM board, we’ve been able to make significant progress, and I believe the next three years will be a testament to the power, passion and creative vision of our new management team.”
Sloan came to MGM from SBS Broadcasting, a European media company he founded in 1990 and sold in 2005 for about $2.6 billion. In addition to SBS, Sloan has invested in and chaired Lionsgate Entertainment and New World Entertainment. He started out as an entertainment attorney.
In March, he hired former Universal Pictures vice chairman Mary Parent, who has moved aggressively during the past five months to revive MGM’s production, marketing and distribution capabilities as chairman of MGM’s Worldwide Motion Picture Group. Sloan also recruited Paula Wagner and Tom Cruise to rebuild United Artists.
Sloan has raised $500 million of revolving financing for a growing film slate due to begin rolling out in 2010, which, in a committed vote of confidence, he’ll now see to fruition. He also partnered with Fox to distribute MGM films and TV internationally.
On MGM’s horizon are remakes of “Red Dawn,” “RoboCop” and “Fame” as well as several original comedies and the two-part “Hobbit” epic directed by Guillermo del Toro for 2011. The studio also recently greenlighted the mystery-laden “Cabin in the Woods,” written by Joss Whdeon and Drew Goddard; the latter also will direct.
MGM has “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” hitting theaters soon. The Lion’s crown jewel, the Bond franchise, continues in November with the Marc Forster-directed “Quantum of Solace,” the last in the series that it will split as part of its current deal with distributor Sony Pictures.
“We appreciate Harry’s commitment to building value at MGM and believe he is executing the right strategy for the company,” Providence Equity Partners CEO Jonathan Nelson said on behalf of the MGM board. (partialdiff)
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