$350m payout for ex-MGM head

NEW YORK • He lost his job, but won a rich payout.

Mr Gary Barber, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) studio head who was unexpectedly ousted earlier this year, has walked away with US$260 million (S$350 million) for agreeing to sever ties with the studio behind the James Bond movies.

He had steered Hollywood studio MGM to recovery since its 2010 bankruptcy but, in March, the board fired him over a difference in strategy.

MGM's payout was in exchange for his equity stake in common stock and options, as well as an agreement from him to uphold a three-year standstill on MGM-related matters, the studio said on Thursday.

The deal puts to bed any prospect of Mr Barber buying out the company.

MGM is still rebuilding its prowess in the movie business, with plans next year to distribute a James Bond film in the United States.

Under Mr Barber, MGM produced back-to-back billion-dollar movies with Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 2012.

It also bought the production company of Mark Burnett, who created The Apprentice shows that featured Mr Donald Trump, as well as premium movie channel Epix.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline '$350m payout for ex-MGM head'. Print Edition | Subscribe