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Barber originally joined MGM in 2010, along with his Spyglass Entertainment partner Roger Birnbaum. The two served as co-chairmen and CEOs until October 2012, when Birnbaum stepped down to return to producing and Barber became the sole chairman and CEO, a role he has held for the past five years.
Since joining the studio as it emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, Barber has grown its film and TV businesses and expanded its distribution footprint across traditional and digital platforms.
Earlier this year, MGM completed a $1.2 billion acquisition of premium pay television Epix, buying out the interests of Viacom and Lionsgate, which had joined MGM in what was originally a co-venture when Epix launched in 2009. MGM also recently relaunched Orion Pictures, headed by John Hegeman, as a new stand-alone U.S. theatrical marketing and distribution company that will release four to six modestly budgeted features a year. MGM, along with co-rights owner and partner Danjaq, also oversees the James Bond franchise, and is currently developing Bond 25, for which it is soon expected to strike a distribution deal.
Commenting on Barber’s contract extension, Kevin Ulrich, CEO of Anchorage Capital Group and newly appointed chairman of MGM’s board of directors, said, “Gary is a dynamic leader, and during the past seven years MGM has regained its prominence as a leading entertainment company. He has developed a focused, strategic vision which, combined with a strong financial discipline, has positioned MGM for future growth and innovation.”
Said Barber: “MGM has a great legacy and leading this tremendous organization has been among the most rewarding experiences of my career. Kevin and the board’s support have been invaluable as we continue to execute on the company’s strategic initiatives. I am also very proud of the world-class team we have here at MGM, whose passion, creativity and contributions cannot be overstated. I look forward to working with them to drive the company to new heights.”
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