Lionsgate CFO James Keegan, a 25-year veteran of the company and its corporate predecessors, is to retire on October 1. He will be replaced by James W Barge.

Keegan, who led the financial team during key milestones including the paying down of the $500m Summit term loan two years ahead of schedule, will stay on as a consultant through January 3, 2014.

Barge becomes CFO effective October 1 and reports to CEO Jon Feltheimer.

The new hire served as evp and CFO of Viacom from 2010-2012 and evp, controller, tax and treasury, from 2008-2010. Prior appointments include a 13-year tenure at Time Warner, ultimately serving as Time Warner svp, controller and chief accounting officer, and 13 years at Ernst & Young.

“Jim Keegan has provided 25 years of exemplary service to the Lionsgate family, and he will be missed,” said Feltheimer. “When he decided to retire, we were fortunate that Jimmy Barge was already working with us on a number of financial initiatives and was available to hit the ground running as our new CFO.

“Jimmy has tremendous experience guiding the financial operations and strategies of leading major entertainment companies, and he will be a valuable and experienced addition to our management team.”