George Cheeks, vice chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, has reportedly left the company for CBS, where he could eventually take over for chief executive Joe Ianniello.
According to Variety, the possible leadership change is coming shortly after CBS and Viacom recombined to form ViacomCBS. The newly merged company is reportedly prepping an extensive round of layoffs.
The report suggests that administrative, back-office and support function employees will be hit hardest the job cuts that will be made to reduce redundancies and help the combined company reach projected synergy targets.
The ViacomCBS merger closed in December. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish became president and CEO of the combined company and acting CBS CEO Ianniello became chairman and CEO of CBS.
The combined company’s portfolio of consumer brands includes CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, along with a content library comprising more than 140,000 TV episodes and more than 3,600 film titles. The combined company will also have more than 750 series currently ordered to or in production and it will include Hollywood film studio Paramount Pictures.
In November, ViacomCBS set the executive team for its digital properties including CBS All Access, Showtime and Pluto TV.
Marc DeBevoise, who is taking over as CEO of CBS Interactive after Jim Lanzone leaves the company at the end of the year, will serve as chief digital officer at ViacomCBS. He’ll be running CBS’ digital assets including its subscription, live and vertical ad-supported direct-to-consumer streaming services and internet properties as well as Viacom Digital Studios.
Kelly Day, president at Viacom Digital Studios, will continue to lead the digital content strategy and initiative to create and expand original programming and branded content across social platforms. She will be tasked with expanding the strategy from brands including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET across the combined company’s content portfolio.
Phil Wiser, chief technology officer at CBS, will serve as chief technology officer for the combined company and will report to DeBevoise. As CTO, he will be responsible for the global technology strategy, shared services, operations and transformation for ViacomCBS.
Tom Ryan, co-founder and CEO of Pluto TV, will continue in his current role.