MGM Holdings Inc. is searching for a new chief executive officer. The MGM name was long ago established as an iconic one in the motion picture industry. Since MGM’s founding during the “Golden Age of Hollywood,” the company has expanded its holdings and business ventures far outside the movie industry. Theme parks and casino rank among the top enterprises MGM operates.
Gary Barber served as the CEO of MGM for an eight-year period. Now, he moves to other endeavors. Until a new chief executive officer is hired, MGM created the “Office of the CEO.” This entity answer directly to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors includes a diverse range of media executives including David Krane of Google, Ann Mather of Disney, Paramount, and Pixar, and James Dondero of Highland Capital Management. The presence of Mr. Dondero may seem surprising since Highland Capital Management isn’t primarily known as an entertainment or media investor. Actually, James Dondero’s diverse experience makes him an appropriate and experienced member of MGM’s Board of Directors.
The collective team acting as the Office of the CEO will only be in existence until the Board places someone in the CEO position. The search has commenced. The person who eventually sits behind the desk would assume a tremendous amount of responsibilities considering the vast library and holdings MGM maintains.
MGM has received a great deal of press recently over what the studio wishes to do with the rights to the James Bond franchise. MGM could earn billions of dollars in revenue from a strong licensing agreement to another studio. Whoever becomes CEO of MGM would play a pivotal role in all licensing negotiations of the legendary character and franchise.
The James Bond franchise represents only one property within the vast library of MGM. An incredible volume of television programs and motion pictures can be licensed or distributed through MGM. MGM does not need to deal strictly with other companies to earn revenue from its complete library. MGM invested into other television channels and media platforms. After seeing how MGM chooses to invest in various other entities, it makes further sense that someone like James Dondero sits on the board. The various investments allow the company to remain a relevant force in the entertainment industry. MGM also outright owns EPIX, a premium pay channel available throughout the United States on cable and other platforms. MGM holdings surely will expand in the coming years.