Viacom, CBS Set up Integration Management Office

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Viacom CEO Bob Bakish unveils the creation of an Integration Management Office for the merger with CBS Corp. in a staff memo.

Viacom chief transformation officer Jose Tolosa and CBS executive vp strategic planning and development Gautam Ranji will run the group charged with ensuring the merged ViacomCBS hits the ground running.

Viacom and CBS Corp. have set up an Integration Management Office to ensure the merged ViacomCBS can hit the ground running once the recombination closes.

The companies unveiled their mega-deal last month. The integration group will be led by Viacom chief transformation officer Jose Tolosa and CBS executive vp strategic planning and development Gautam Ranji.

"The IMO will draw from the support of many of you across our organization to ensure that ViacomCBS is ready to operate effectively as a combined company on Day 1," Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who will serve as ViacomCBS CEO after the merger closes, said in a staff memo Tuesday. "Both Jose and Gautam bring a wealth of experience to their new roles, and they’ve already started working together to make sure the process is thoughtful and balanced."

Bakish in the memo also mentioned that the companies have hired consulting firm Bain & Co. "to help assist us along the way."

The companies, both of which are controlled by the Redstone family, have said they plan to complete their recombination before the end of the year. Bakish in his staff memo reiterated that timing expectation before closing by saying: "We will continue to keep you updated along the way and, in the meantime, please continue your great work."

Bakish will lead the merged company as president and CEO, while CBS Corp. acting chief Joe Ianniello will become chairman and CEO of CBS where he will oversee all CBS-branded assets. CBS CFO Christina Spade will serve as CFO of the merged firm, and Shari Redstone, vice chair of both companies, will serve as chair of the combined entity, dubbed ViacomCBS Inc.