Studio veteran will commence search for vice-chairman candidates.

Jim Gianopulos

Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish ended weeks of speculation on Monday when he announced Jim Gianopulos has been named chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

Gianopulos, the vastly experienced former chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, will start his new job on April 3 and replaces Brad Grey, who departed in February following a poor run at the box office in 2016.

The new hire will oversee Paramount’s film and television operations worldwide, including production, marketing, distribution and all other facets.

He will oversee a new pipeline of content and develop co-branded releases from parent company Viacom’s other flagship brands – BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr – a strategy Bakish outlined earlier this year.

Gianopulos will also search for a vice-chairman. Producer Mike De Luca had been linked to that role before he took himself out of the race recently.

“Jim is a remarkably talented executive with all the tools – strategic vision, strong business expertise, deep industry and creative relationships – to bring films to life that resonate throughout culture and deliver commercial results,” Bakish, to whom Gianopulos will report, said in a statement.

“I’m thrilled we will have the benefit of his experience, savvy and global expertise as we lay out a clear path forward and begin the next chapter in Paramount’s storied history.”

Gianopulos said: “Paramount is one of Hollywood’s truly iconic studios, and the role it has played in shaping the entertainment industry cannot be overstated. Looking ahead, I see a strong opportunity to position the studio for success by creating valuable franchise opportunities, developing fresh creative ventures, and mining Viacom’s deep brand portfolio to bring exciting new narratives to life.

“I am eager to get to work with Bob and the rest of the Viacom and Paramount teams to ensure Paramount continues to deliver rich, powerful films and television programming for all audiences.”

Prior to Fox, where in the early years he served as president of Fox International, Gianopulos held senior positions at Columbia Pictures and Paramount. He began his career as an entertainment law attorney.