In a shock development, the company’s CEO is stepping down after eight years.
Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll is understood to be temporarily assuming the reins while a replacement is hired.
While the causes of Berk’s immediate departure remained unclear, a recent interview with Skoll in Variety alluded to an allegedly micro-management style of the former Hard Rock Cafe International president and educator.
“I am grateful to Jim for leading Participant over the last eight and half years, expanding the company to span film, television and digital, serving a global audience of socially conscious consumers,” said Skoll in a statement. “Jim has been instrumental to Participant’s success, and we all wish him well as he embarks on the next stage of his career.
“I’ve never been more energised or excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Participant. We remain committed to inspiring and compelling social change to the world’s most pressing problems through the power of great stories and engaging our audiences to take meaningful action.”
“It has been a tremendous privilege to lead Participant Media,” Berk said in a statement. “I am incredibly proud of our collective work to drive change through entertainment, but after more than eight years at Participant it is the right time for someone else to take the helm. I look forward to the company’s continued success.”
Skoll, the first full-time employee and president of eBay, recently commissioned McKinsey & Co to conduct a strategic review of his company.