There will be no formal announcement because IMG desperately wants all the damaging talk to quiet down. So the unsavory Michael Ovitz situation was handled in private this week with a formal IMG letter removing him from owner Teddy Forstmann’s advisory board. (One insider tells me that three other board members who backed Ovitz’s alleged takeover attempt were removed as well. But I have no additional confirmation so won’t go into detail.) Thus ignobly ends yet another of Ovitz’s longest personal and professional relationships after he was accused of maneuvering to run and/or own the global management and production giant while 71-year-old Teddy battled brain cancer. The allegations against Ovitz included that he was “harassing” management by demanding IMG financial records; pressuring president/COO Mike Dolan and senior IMG executives to report to him by trying to set up a so-called executive committee within the board to oversee IMG activities because of Forstmann’s illness and treatment; and approaching Forstmann, Little & Co partners and investors telling them he was interested in buying IMG with the backing of Greg O’Hara, the managing director of One Equity Partners LLC. Ovitz strenuously denied to me all the allegations and insisted that “running Ted’s company is not something I’m interested in right now. My job is to support my friend who is really sick.” Then again, with friends like this on the eve of Yom Yippur, who needs enemies?
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