Passman steps up at Carmike Cinemas

Company solidifies exec roster in wake of Patrick's exit

Carmike Cinemas chairman David Passman has been handed the CEO reins.

Longtime Carmike chief Michael Patrick was ousted in January amid disgruntlement over the company's stock price. Carmike director Roland Smith has been tapped to take over as chairman, while Fred Van Noy remains COO and Richard Hare continues as CFO.

Passman, Van Noy and Hare have been running the circuit as an "office of the chairman" committee since Patrick's departure.

Based in Columbus, Ga., Carmike was an early adopter of digital projection and with 2,288 screens represents the nation's No. 3 circuit. Its 249 theaters are mostly in small to midsize markets in 35 states.

"David's appointment was a logical choice given the excellent job he has done in collaborating with Fred and Richard, his ability to build a team spirit throughout the organization and the many contributions he has made to the company since joining the board approximately six years ago," said Smith, who is CEO of the Wendy's/Arby's fast-food chain.

Passman recently retired as CEO of book publisher IBS-STL.

"I've immensely enjoyed working with Fred, Richard and the other Carmike associates in the transitional leadership role of the office of the chairman over the past few months," Passman said. "It is an honor to now be stepping into an executive role, so I can help lead the organization as it capitalizes on its leadership position as an innovator in the exhibition industry."

Wall Street seemed to applaud the exec news. Carmike shares closed up 56 cents, or 7%, at $8.46 on Thursday amid a modestly upbeat broader market.