Paramount Pictures has laid off about 20 staffers in the Viacom film studio’s Finance, Legal, Business & Legal Affairs and Television teams. The cuts happened Tuesday and were detailed in a memo by Paramount COO Andrew Gumpert.
Sources say the total number of layoffs includes some open positions, and impacts about 1.5% of the studio’s total staff.
The layoffs came the same day Paramount announced promotions and a hire in its Paramount TV division as that unit restructures under Nicole Clemens, who was appointed president of Paramount TV in September. Among those noted yesterday: Debra Bergman was upped to EVP/Head of Physical Production and Ken Basin to EVP of Business Affairs. Robert West was hired as VP Production.
Variety was first to note the layoffs today.
Gumpert said in the memo the changes come amid Viacom’s “significant transformation effort to ensure we’re running our business as efficiently as we can” that started a year ago.
“With that perspective in mind, we will be seeing restructuring in our ranks that will streamline efficiency, foster talent across multiple divisions of the company, and augment synergy and cross-functionality amongst different teams,” he wrote.
Here’s the full memo:
As you all are aware, a year ago Viacom kicked off a significant transformation effort to ensure we’re running our business as efficiently as we can – to both save more money, and ensure we can invest in new areas of growth. With that comes some exciting, but also necessary changes, including for our studio. In pursuit of this mandate, we have taken a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the organization on an overall, holistic level, and identified where we can make our processes more efficient and better utilize our workforce and resources to maximize success for the company as a whole.
This transformation is not painless and comes with some hard decisions that we feel are necessary to move our business forward. As a consequence, today we are making some changes across the organization, which will impact the Finance, Legal, Business & Legal Affairs and Television teams. While this transformation impacts a very small number of our work force, it was difficult nonetheless, and we extend our most sincere thanks to the affected team members for their contributions, and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.
As an organization, we continue on a trajectory of renewal and reinvigoration, and I am proud and optimistic to reflect on all we have achieved in the past year and the growth and continued transformation that I see in our future.
Thank you for being valued members of this company, and working together to ensure a bright future for us all.
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