MGM Worldwide television chairman Mark Burnett exits post Amazon acquisition

Mumbai: MGM’s Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett is exiting after the company’s $8.5 billion acquisition by Amazon.

Burnett has had a huge impact on the reality TV genre and has created shows like Survivor, The Voice, Shark Tank and The Apprentice which was hosted in the US by Donald Trump.

In 2014 he had sold a majority of his companies to MGM and came to the studio. Later he sold the rest of his companies for MGM stock.

In a memo to the staff he wrote, "It takes great teams of talented people to produce more than 3,200 total hours of television including long-running hits like Survivor, The Voice and Shark Tank and innovative scripted series like The Bible, which together have garnered 143 Emmy nominations.”

He further explained that he had a clear strategic vision to build and grow MGM’s television division with my dynamic team, which included buying great companies like Evolution and Big Fish, adding international scripted and unscripted teams, and starting a documentaries unit. He revealed, "We took calibrated risks and hired great people – and the business grew.”

"That growth was critical to MGM’s future, because MGM needed to maximize its value in order to attract a global streaming partner and be ready for its next 100 years.  I am proud to have been part of the team that achieved the historic sale to Amazon in 2022,” he said.

Burnett went on, "Now, after months of collaborative transition efforts, we have thoughtfully re- organised our teams so that they all have the opportunity to prosper under the leadership of Mike Hopkins, Jennifer Salke and Christopher Brearton. In these days of media layoffs I am proud to say that everyone in the TV division has been offered a way to continue to contribute. No one was left behind.”

"As I step away from day to day management and back into independently creating and innovating, I will continue to oversee my legacy series and be available to all of you and to Amazon for guidance and support. Thanks team – I literally could not have done any of this without each of you," he stated.

Amazon Studios, Prime Video senior vice president Mike Hopkins in a note thanked Burnett for his countless contributions to success and, on a personal level, for his partnership and counsel throughout the integration. "I know you’ll all agree that he is one of the most innovative, creative, and prolific television producers in our industry, and we have been extraordinarily fortunate to have him on our team,” he said.

"Mark’s stepping aside of course raises both opportunities and questions about how we’ll be organised moving forward. You’ll be hearing more about this shortly,” he elucidated.

Hopkins further added, "I am incredibly proud of the outstanding television and film content that we produce, and look forward to 2023 and beyond, when as a fully integrated team we continue to build on this legacy. Thanks for all your commitment and dedication as we head into a dynamic and successful future together."

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