Paramount may oust CEO Bob Bakish—Here’s what we know


Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish may be ousted from his role as soon as next week, multiple outlets reported Saturday, amid heightened tensions as the global entertainment firm explores a merger with Skydance Media.
Paramount CEO Bob Bakish

Reports of Bakish’s potential ousting come ahead of Paramount Global’s first-quarter earnings call slated for Monday—which he’s not expected to be on.

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Key Takeaways
  • Bakish’s potential removal stems from an increasingly contentious relationship with the company’s controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, according to The New York Times, which cited three unnamed individuals familiar with the matter.
  • Bakish has privately opposed the potential merger with Skydance Media—founded by billionaire Larry Ellison’s son, David—which has led to Redstone wanting to oust Bakish ahead of renewal negotiations with Charter Communications for CBS and other Paramount networks, which are seen as key to solidifying Paramount’s value for the potential merger, according to CNBC, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.
  • The Wall Street Journal first reported Thursday Paramount was considering ousting Bakish and potentially establishing a committee to run the company on an interim basis, citing unnamed individuals familiar with the matter—though it did note no official decision had been made.
  • Paramount declined to comment to Forbes.
What To Watch For

Paramount is set to deliver its first-quarter earnings Monday, and Bakish is not expected to be on the call, according to CNBC.

Key Background

Paramount Global, previously named ViacomCBS, was established in a $12 billion 2019 merger from CBS and Viacom. Bakish was appointed as Viacom’s CEO in 2016, and retained the role after the 2019 merger.

Reports of potential acquisition talks have been ongoing for months, coinciding with reports of the entertainment giant underperforming financially, which has taken a toll on the company’s stock.

Paramount shares closed for the week at $11.91—down more than 50% from its 52-week high of $24 on May 1, 2023. Redstone reportedly reached a tentative agreement to sell her controlling stake to Skydance Media on April 3.

A week later, The Wall Street Journal reported four board members were expected to leave Paramount Global this spring. In a separate move, multiple outlets reported April 18 that Sony and investment firm Apollo Management were in discussions involving a joint buyout of the conglomerate.

Apollo previously offered $11 billion for the company’s studios in late March.


New data on CEO compensation at some of the largest entertainment firms in America showed that Bakish made $31.3 million in 2023, down 2% from his compensation the previous year.

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