Viacom has officially taken the “acting” tag off of CEO Bob Bakish’s title, doing so on the same day that National Amusements called off the possible remerger between CBS and Viacom.
The company confirmed today that Bakish, who’s been with Viacom since 1997, had been elevated to president and CEO after taking over on Nov. 15. Bakish most recently served as Viacom International Media Networks.
"In Bob's short time as Acting President and CEO he has impressed the Board of Directors with the decisive steps he has taken. He has moved quickly to deliver upon the mandate given to him—to maximize Viacom's potential as a strong, growing and independent company. We have great confidence in Bob's strategic vision and his ability to move forward aggressively to position Viacom for the future," said Tom May, chairman of the board, in a statement.
Bakish’s first order of business after assuming the leadership role at Viacom was the $345 million acquisition of Televisión Federal S.A. (Telefe), a free-to-air channel in Argentina, a move he said reflected his confidence in Viacom’s independent future and one that likely benefited from his international experience.
"I have been chartered by the board to focus on running Viacom as a strong independent company and putting in place a strategy, which will grow the company over time. This move clearly fits with our international strategy, which is an integral component of the overall Viacom growth strategy," Bakish told the Hollywood Reporter.
Today, Bakish is apparently being given a vote of confidence from the Viacom board.
"I am honored to be chosen by the Board to lead Viacom, its world-class brands and exceedingly talented people. I believe unequivocally in this company and its potential to create new opportunities and drive greater value as our business evolves and our industry transforms. We've been working very quickly to mobilize the organization, re-energize our culture and address our areas of greatest need. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Board and our team to build on this momentum, and will share more on our plan and path forward in the New Year," Bakish said in a statement.