MGM’s Mark Burnett steps down following Amazon’s $8.5bn acquisition

Mark Burnett

MGM topper Mark Burnett is stepping down from the company, six months after its $8.5bn acquisition by Amazon.

Burnett, who had been chairman of MGM’s Worldwide Television Group, will continue to work on some of the company’s longest running shows, including Survivor for CBS, The Voice for NBC and Shark Tank for ABC.

However, he said in a staff memo he would “step away from day to day management and back into independently creating and innovating…”. No further details were given on next moves.

Burnett had been at MGM for almost a decade since selling his One Three Media and Light Workers Media outfits to the James Bond studio. US reports suggested his stake in MGM, and its subsequent sale to Amazon, had netted the exec close to $900m.

After his companies were acquired by MGM in 2015, Burnett became president of MGM Television, before taking top his most recent role three years later.

During his tenure, MGM produced scripted shows including Fargo for FX and The Handmaid’s Tale for Hulu, as well as unscripted series such as Funderdome for ABC and Beat Shazam for Fox.

Survivor

The exec added that despite the Amazon acquisition, MGM staffers had been looked after, following “months of collaborative transition efforts”.

MGM is currently operating independently, overseen by Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke, Amazon Prime Video’s SVP Mike Hopkins, and MGM COO, Christopher Brearton.

“In these days of media layoffs, I am proud to say that everyone in the TV division has been offered a way to continue to contribute. No one was left behind,” Burnett wrote.

Further reorganisation is expected in the coming months at MGM, with Hopkins confirming further changes would be in the offing.

“Mark’s stepping aside of course raises both opportunities and questions about how we’ll be organised moving forward,” he wrote in his own note to staff. “You’ll be hearing more about this shortly.”

Tags: Amazon, MGM

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