EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that former Overture Films CEO and MGM Vice Chairman Chris McGurk is calling studios to let them know he has landed a new gig. The 53-year-old executive has been named chairman/CEO of the publicly traded Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp, a leader in the digital cinema industry, effective today. McGurk will be based in Los Angeles. Co-Chief Executive Officers Adam Mizel and Gary Loffredo will continue with the company. I hear the deal to bring in McGurk was brokered by ROAR management company.
UPDATE: Cinedigm Digital Cinema just made the announcement. McGurk said he is “impressed with the progress Cinedigm has made in the past six months”. According to the company, in addition to a significant personal purchase of common stock in Cinedigm, McGurk “will receive an option grant to align his interests with those of our shareholders. Under the terms of his employment agreement, pursuant to NASDAQ listing Rule 5635(c)(4), Mr. McGurk will receive an inducement grant of non-statutory options to purchase 4,500,000 shares of the Company’s Common Stock (the “Options”). The Options are grouped in three tranches, consisting of Options for 1,500,000 shares having an exercise price of $1.50 per share, Options for 2,500,000 shares having an exercise price of $3.00 per share and Options for 500,000 shares having an exercise price of $5.00 per share. One-third of the Options in each tranche vest on January 3 of each of 2012, 2013 and 2014 and all of the Options have a term of ten (10) years.”
“Having closely watched the rollout of the Cinedigm platform, I am honored and excited to join the exceptional team at Cinedigm Digital Cinema,” McGurk said in a statement. “The industry is fast approaching 20,000 screens converting to digital, and this rapid transformation is largely a consequence of Cinedigm’s foresight and leadership. Cinedigm has extraordinary prospects to further grow its business and I look forward to assisting in the Company’s ongoing development and success… I am very comfortable with and committed to the mission of Cinedigm. The Company will continue to rapidly expand its comprehensive digital cinema technology and service platform and leverage it with industry leading software applications as well as through the marketing and distribution of alternative entertainment content, including 3D films, live special events such as concerts and major sporting events, and regularly scheduled programming. Cinedigm’s platform will also be an increasingly important conduit for the distribution of independent films. Our primary goal will remain to provide our exhibitor, studio and content partners with the platform, services and tools to capture the potential created by the digital conversion of theaters.”
“We are extremely pleased to have Chris McGurk lead our Company going forward,” commented Ned Gilhuly, founder of Sageview Capital, and a member of Cinedigm’s Board of Directors and Search Committee. “He has an ideal mix of relevant industry experience, strategic insight and demonstrated leadership ability to help drive Cinedigm to the next level. As a Board, we are confident he has the industry stature and the skills to accelerate Cinedigm’s progress in its mission to become a leading provider of comprehensive digital cinema technology and services, and compelling alternative entertainment content.”