ViacomCBS Finalizes Post-Merger Executive Ranks Ahead of Deal Closing

Bob Bakish - Getty - H 2019
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“We now have in place the entire senior management team for ViacomCBS," said Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish.

As Viacom and CBS look to reorganize ahead of closing their $30 billion recombination in early December, both media giants on Monday said they have finalized their post-remerger leadership ranks.

"With today’s appointments, we now have in place the entire senior management team for ViacomCBS, ensuring we will hit the ground running when the transaction closes in just a few weeks. Working together, these leaders will help us realize the full potential of our considerable assets and competitive strengths," Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish said in a statement.

The latest executive suite additions include Alex Berkett, Viacom's senior vp of corporate development and strategy, being named executive vp of corporate development and strategy at ViacomCBS, while Nancy Phillips is named executive vp and chief people officer, heading up the combined entity's global human resources organization.

Phillips joins from Nielsen, where she served as chief human resources officer. And Marva Smalls, executive vp of global head of inclusion strategy at Viacom, is promoted to executive vp, global head of inclusion at ViacomCBS, and Jose Tolosa, Viacom's chief transformation officer, expands his roles to executive vp, chief transformation officer at ViacomCBS, where he will oversee integration efforts for the combined company.

Bakish has already been tapped to serve as president and CEO of ViacomCBS upon the close of the transaction, while CBS CEO Joe Ianniello will run the CBS assets. National Amusements, the holding company controlled by the Redstone family, drove the merger of Viacom and CBS.

National Amusements controls a majority of CBS and Viacom shares, paving the way for the deal to close. CBS and Viacom were previously part of the same National Amusements-controlled company, but Sumner Redstone had Viacom spin off CBS in 2006.

Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, will be board chair of ViacomCBS once the merger is completed.