MGM Studio: CEO Sloan out, turnaround star Cooper in

August 18, 2009

Debt-ridden Hollywood studio MGM, whose library is home to such gems as the Rocky and James Bond flicks, has replaced CEO Harry Sloan, appointing a three person team to run the show: famed turnaround ace Stephen Cooper, motion pictures group boss Mary Parent, and CFO Bedi Singh.

Sloan is out as CEO but the veteran Hollywood businessman, who took the helm a few months after MGM’s 2005 buyout by a group of private equity and media investors,  will stay on MGM as non-executive chairman of the studio. The studio has been grappling with a massive $3.5 billion debt load stemming from its 2005 buyout by private equity and media firms.

Along with the debt load, MGM , which has not had a major film release since Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie”  in December, has been struggling like other Hollywood studios with  lining up fresh film financing due to the economic crunch and dropping DVD sales.

Cooper,  well-known for  turning around big troubled companies Krispy Kreme and Enron, has been appointed to restructure MGM’s  balance sheet to enable Parent to make movies.

MGM is due next to release a remake of the 1980’s hit “Fame” and to start production on “Red Dawn” another remake, in September.

Sloan left a private law practice in 1983 and has been a media executive and investor since. He invested and ran three media companies, including SBS Broadcasting, Lions Gate Entertainment and New World Entertainment.

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