Bob Bakish, the CEO of Paramount Global, is set to step down after serving for eight years. His tenure overseeing Shari Redstone’s media empire appears to be ending under the weight of internal pressures and ongoing merger and acquisition (M&A) discussions. Bakish joined the company in 1997, ultimately rising to CEO in 2016 when he was tasked by Redstone to navigate the company through shareholder legal battles and a contentious power struggle with former CEO Philippe Dauman. Recent reports suggest his imminent departure comes at a time of significant corporate change, with Paramount’s board engaged in exclusive acquisition talks with Skydance Media and RedBird Capital. Sony Pictures and Apollo Global Management are also showing interest, preparing a formal all-cash offer ahead of the May 3 deadline of the current negotiating period. As the merger dynamics unfold, Skydance’s CEO David Ellison is being tipped to lead the merged entity, with Jeff Shell, a former NBCUniversal CEO, anticipated to manage daily operations. There has been a distinct lack of consideration for Bakish’s ongoing role post-acquisition. Paramount Global, with its flagging share value and consecutive quarters of disappointing earnings, particularly within its streaming division, is set to present its first-quarter earnings shortly. Bakish, however, is notably absent from the scheduled earnings call, a decision informed by his stance against the merger plans with Skydance, as reported by CNBC.

Media & Entertainment, Mergers & Acquisitions,United States