Viacom taps ex-Fox exec to lead Paramount Pictures

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Viacom has hired former 20th Century Fox chief executive Jim Gianopulos to run its Paramount Pictures division, as the media conglomerate looks to move past last year’s management and corporate governance turmoil.

Mr Gianopulos will be replacing Brad Grey, who stepped down as chairman and CEO of the movie studio last month following 12 years on the job.

Viacom is counting on Mr Gianopulos – whose box office hits at Fox include Avatar and the X-Men series, to revive the fortunes of Paramount.

Paramount posted an $180m operating loss in the final three months of 2016 following a string of recent box-office flops and losses, including 2016′s Ben Hur and Zoolander 2.

In his new role, Mr Gianopulos will oversee Paramount’s film and television operations worldwide as well set a new strategy for expanding the studio’s global footprint.

“Jim is a remarkably talented executive with all the tools – strategic vision, strong business expertise, deep industry and creative relationships – to bring films to life that resonate throughout culture and deliver commercial results,” said Bob Bakish, president and chief executive of Viacom. “I’m thrilled we will have the benefit of his experience, savvy and global expertise as we lay out a clear path forward and begin the next chapter in Paramount’s storied history.”

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