EXCLUSIVE: David Glasser has tendered his resignation to the board of The Weinstein Company, which sets the stage for the COO to transition out of the company after seven years there. This has been an evolving situation after Glasser resigned; Bob and Harvey Weinstein and TWC’s Comp Committee initially continued trying to persuade him to stay on, but they have come around to the fact that that Glasser will move on after he helps to transition a replacement for the indie powerhouse as TWC prepares for fall festival season, the Oscar race, and the release of cornerstone director Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. That search for an executive to replace him begins immediately as Glasser himself moves toward the next opportunity.
Glasser has been instrumental in helping to turn the company around following his arrival from Syndicate Films International in 2008. He originally joined as president of international when Glen Basner left to form FilmNation. Within a year he became COO/president, and Harvey Weinstein’s right-hand man.
“It has been an incredible run at The Weinstein Company but I have decided to take some time and explore my options in the industry,” Glasser said in a statement. “I will remain with TWC until November where I will work closely with our team to set up the incredible slate for 2015/2016.”
Said Bob and Harvey Weinstein: “We were disappointed to hear of David’s decision. He has been one of the best executives we’ve had the privilege of working with and we have had a tremendous run together. David will be missed at TWC but we are in discussions with several high-level executives who we know will continue to grow the successful divisions we built together.”
Glasser has helped the company streamline its focus away from an unwise diversification into web and fashion businesses, and back to what it does best: generating and distributing film and television product through TWC, Dimension and Radius TWC. Even though a sale to ITV hasn’t closed so far, the television business is taking off for TWC, in reality (Mob Wives) and scripted fare (Marco Polo, War And Peace). The Weinstein Company also has a piece of the long-running unscripted series Project Runway and its TV pipeline includes 10-part event series Ten Commandments at WGN America and Ancient Egypt-set drama Book Of The Dead.
There’s also the matter of the strategic relationship with Netflix across both film (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2) and TV (Marco Polo, renewed for a second season). Harvey Weinstein played bodyguard to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos at Cannes, calling the SVOD giant “visionary” and giving an impassioned defense of the exec and the service when Netflix came under fire during an “in conversation” event.
Glasser led the negotiations with ITV over a potential deal for the ambitious UK media company to acquire the Weinstein Company’s TV division in a deal mooted at anywhere from $300 million-$900 million. Ultimately those talks did not lead to a deal — at least not yet — but they showed again Glasser’s ability to handle both the exacting minutiae of handling the daily machinations of running the company as well as more strategic conversations over the company’s longer-term future. Glasser worked on the 2010 debt restructure that effectively gave the company a new lease on life when Goldman Sachs and investment company Assured Guaranty LTD jointly took control of some 200 films and their recoupables in the Weinstein library and received $115 million from the insurance company Ambac as part of a restructuring that saved TWC and wiped $450 million of debt off the company’s books.
That allowed the company to enjoy a string of box office success with the likes of Django Unchained and Lee Daniels’ The Butler, not to mention awards kudos with Silver Linings Playbook, and back-to-back Best Picture winners The Artist and The King’s Speech.