A few key details were revealed about what life will be like at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer now that its $8.5 billion sale to Amazon has closed.
In a town hall at Amazon’s Culver City lot, Mike Hopkins, Amazon Studios and Prime Video SVP, unveiled an interim leadership structure. He told staffers that for the time being MGM’s Chief Operating Officer Christopher Brearton, Motion Picture Group Chairman Michael De Luca, and Worldwide Television Group Chairman Mark Burnett have “…joined my leadership team.” That signals that all three men will report directly to Hopkins. Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke will continue to report to Hopkins.
De Luca, Brearton, and Burnett joined Hopkins and Amazon Studios Chief Operating Officer Albert Cheng in Los Angeles while Salke beamed in from London. Many staffers watched the town hall via live stream.
Hopkins said that he was hoping to “start the process” of looking under the hood of MGM in order to find out “…how to best together integrate our two teams.”
Part of that may be seeing how Amazon can best exploit MGM”s library of 4,000 films. MGM controls the rights to the “Rocky,” “Legally Blonde,” “Stargate,” “The Pink Panther” films, among others. It also distributes the James Bond franchise, but the spy series’ producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson call the creative shots. MGM also produces television shows such as “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Vikings.”
The Amazon staff extended warm welcome to the MGM team, who are relieved that most of them appear poised to make the transition (there had been layoff fears). Hopkins said that at Amazon, employees are encouraged to an embrace a mantra from the company’s founder Jeff Bezos.
“Treat every day like it’s day one,” he urged them.