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The shake-up at Paramount is official.
Brian Robbins, who oversees Nickelodeon for parent company ViacomCBS, will add oversight of the famed movie studio. Jim Gianopulos, who has led Paramount since 2017, will step aside effective immediately, but serve as an advisor through the end of the year.
In addition, David Nevins will add oversight of Paramount Television Studios, with PTS chief Nicole Clemens reporting to him.
News of the executive shake-up first trickled out last Friday and over the weekend.
In a statement Monday, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said that the changes “will build on Paramount’s strong momentum, ensuring it continues to engage audiences at scale while embracing viewers’ evolving tastes and habits.”
“Brian is an expert at building powerhouse global franchises by leaning into the unique strengths of new and established platforms – including theatrical releases, streaming, linear, consumer products and more. With Brian drawing on his extensive experiences across animation and live action, and David overseeing Paramount Television Studios, we will build on Paramount’s incredible legacy and chart a new path for the studio,” Bakish added.
He continued, “Jim is a towering figure in Hollywood who has successfully led Paramount through an extraordinary period in the film industry. From the wild success of the A Quiet Place franchise to the Oscar-winning Rocketman to fan favorites like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, he has overseen the creation of films that have achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Jim for his leadership in establishing a revitalized Paramount.”
Gianopulos sent a memo to staff Monday afternoon after the transition was announced, thanking them for their work over the past 4 years.
“When I joined the studio in 2017, Paramount was in a period of turmoil —in many ways it seemed to have lost some of its soul, or at least its pride,” Gianopulos wrote. “Together, we reinvigorated it, with a commitment to its heritage, by putting great entertainment on the big and small screens for audiences worldwide, and in the process, restoring it to profitability, and infusing it with dedication, hard work, and perhaps most importantly, heart. After many years in this business, it has been a true joy and privilege to be part of the evolution of this singular industry, and to work alongside all of you as it continues to evolve.”
Read his full memo to staff, below.
As you have heard, I will be stepping down as Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures today. With this transition, I want to share some thoughts and especially my gratitude to you. Since my first day on the lot over four years ago, I have felt welcomed, supported, and embraced by all of you, and I have been utterly blown away by your optimism and hard work on our mission to rebuild this studio. Paramount is a storied institution, and we are the latest to be custodians of its great legacy. I have been immensely proud of the work we have done and what we have built together, and I’m grateful for all your contributions along the way.
When I joined the studio in 2017, Paramount was in a period of turmoil —in many ways it seemed to have lost some of its soul, or at least its pride. Together, we reinvigorated it, with a commitment to its heritage, by putting great entertainment on the big and small screens for audiences worldwide, and in the process, restoring it to profitability, and infusing it with dedication, hard work, and perhaps most importantly, heart. After many years in this business, it has been a true joy and privilege to be part of the evolution of this singular industry, and to work alongside all of you as it continues to evolve.
As we make this transition to a new era for the studio, I encourage all of you to reflect on your accomplishments over these past years and applaud yourselves for a job truly well done. I certainly applaud each and every one of you.
Since its inception, Paramount has been synonymous with great theatrical entertainment, and together, we have launched massive global hits like Mission: Impossible—Fallout, and helped build new cinematic worlds, like A Quiet Place and Sonic the Hedgehog, and elevated existing ones, like Transformers and, Star Trek (with new films in the works), among others. From cinematic biopics like Rocketman to targeted hits like Book Club, we’ve created films that we can truly take pride in, and that audiences have responded to. We’ve worked with and developed future projects with some of the greatest filmmaking and television talent in the world today, too many to mention, but also a source of pride for all of us. We’ve revitalized Paramount Animation, with films like The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, which debuted on Paramount+ this year.
Time and again, you’ve shown that the cinematic experience matters to people: that if you build something special, they will come. And I have no doubt that with films like Top Gun: Maverick, Scream, jackass forever, the next two Mission: Impossible movies and others, Paramount will only reinforce this fundamental truth. I will be in the audience for films like Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Dungeons & Dragons, The Lost City, Babylon, and others now in production, and have no doubt you will be celebrating their successes as well.
On the television side, we have established Paramount Television Studios as a highly respected provider of series entertainment with 20+ shows in production or on the air at various platforms and networks, including hits such as “13 Reasons Why” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Defending Jacob,” “Made for Love,” the upcoming series “The Offer,” about the making of The Godfather, for Paramount + and “American Gigolo” for Showtime, among many others.
These achievements would be a source of pride and accomplishment under any circumstances, but you’ve built these successes even while weathering an often debilitating global pandemic, and have done so with grace and grit. Time and again, you’ve proven that if you must be in the foxhole, this is the team I’d want to be with.
Our shared success has been driven by two core pillars: the brilliant talent of the storytellers we work with, and the fantastic team of colleagues of which we have all been so fortunate to be a part. The opportunity to revitalize Paramount, build first-class executive and creative teams, and restore it to both creative success and profitability has been and will remain something I will always cherish, and I owe that success to all of you.
I wish all of you continued success and joy, and thank you for all you have done. I have resisted naming any of you individually at the risk of being disrespectful to others, and I couldn’t possibly acknowledge each of you in this note anyway, but I am truly honored to have worked with my senior team, and all of you here and around the world. I’m sorry these past 18 months have limited our opportunities to be together and see each other, but from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for making Paramount the incredible place that it is, and this experience leading you among the finest of my life.
I’m also proud of the enormous effort and resources we have dedicated to one of the most important aspects of our business today and in the future, diversity, equity, and inclusion. While there is still a lot of work to be done, the focus we have put on these efforts has shown results, and the potential for a more just and equitable industry for all.
As you know Brian Robbins, who is currently President and CEO of Nickelodeon and Chief Content Officer of Kids & Family for Paramount+, will be taking over the leadership, and many of you know Brian from his time working with us and building Paramount Players. I wish him great success and know that together you will continue to build the next chapter of Paramount’s great legacy.
Once again, my gratitude and fondest wishes to you all.
Updated 3:12 PM with Gianopulos’ note to staff.
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