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Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media, Is Out, Jeff Skoll Takes Reins

Jim Berk, CEO of Participant Media, Is Out, Jeff Skoll Takes Reins

The writing was on the wall last week when Variety published James Rainey’s revealing interview with Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll, the first chief executive of eBay, who admitted that he was not happy with the direction the 11-year-old entertainment media company dedicated to fostering social change was going. He mentioned disappointment in the fortunes of Pivot, the company’s television network, which is available nationally in 48 million homes, and stated his support for Berk while saying he would seek to rely less heavily on him alone but would bring in a board of directors and had launched a strategy review by McKinsey & Co.. 

Berk left the offices on Foothill Drive before the review had a chance to reach any conclusions. 

“It has been a tremendous privilege to lead Participant Media,” said Berk. “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.”

“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. “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 energized 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.”

Participant’s more than 60 films include George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” and “Syriana,” Davis Guggenheim documentaries “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Waiting for ‘Superman’,” and the upcoming “He Named Me Malala,” Joshua Oppenheimer’s “An Act of Killing” and “The Look of Silence,” Rob Kenner’s “Food Inc.,” and DreamWorks’ “The Help” and “Lincoln.” TakePart is Participant’s digital news and lifestyle magazine and social action platform for the conscious consumer. 

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