Participant said Thursday that is has extended David Linde’s contract as chief executive officer, inking a multi-year deal. Linde joined the company in 2015 and has overseen a film slate that has won 10 Oscars including Best Pictures Green Book and Spotlight while realigning its core content around social impact imperatives.
No terms were disclosed. The news comes as the company is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
“David has done an exceptional job taking Participant to new heights the last four years,” founder Jeff Skoll said. “He possesses a rare combination of entertainment industry acumen, keen artistic sensibility, and a true passion to make a difference in the world through storytelling. I am grateful for his dedicated partnership and thrilled to be working with David for many years to come.”
Most recently, Participant’s revamp has included promoting Diane Weyermann to chief content officer, a newly created position. The veteran, who has been at the company since 2005, had been president of Documentary Film and Television. She will keep that focus as well while collaborating with Linde and the company’s recently announced co-heads of narrative film, Robert Kessel and Anikah McLaren.
Kessel and McLaren’s roles were solidified last month in part of a creative department revamp following the departure of Jonathan King, who had been President of Narrative Film and Television.
During his tenure, Linde also helped rebuild Participant’s global distribution structure, hired Chief Impact Officer Holly Gordon, and expanded the company into TV series and digital short-form video with the acquisition of SoulPancake.
“Since joining Participant, I’ve had the amazing opportunity of working with some of the most inspiring artists, thought-leaders, change-makers and professionals in our — or any — industry, all unified toward achieving a common goal: to create real-world change through the power of storytelling,” said Linde said, a Motion Picture Academy board member and former Universal Studios and Focus Features boss. “I’m incredibly grateful to Jeff’s passion and commitment and to his continued trust in me in helping carry out his vision of lasting impact.”
Upcoming for Participant is Monos, which Neon will release theatrically Friday, and Warner Bros’ Just Mercy starring Michael B Jordan, Brie Larson and Jamie Foxx which just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. It also has Dark Waters, starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway coming out in November.
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