AMC Theatres Adds Former Sundance CEO Keri Putnam to Its Board

The former Sundance chief Putnam and tech executive Dee Clark will both join the theater chain's board of directors for 2023
AMC Theatres
AMC Theatres
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As AMC Theatres enters into a critical 2023, the movie theater chain has named some indie cred to its board of directors. Keri Putnam, the former CEO of the Sundance Institute, will join the AMC board at the start of the new year, the company announced Thursday.

Putnam, who exited Sundance in 2021, will join the board alongside another newcomer, global information technology executive Denise “Dee” Clark. Additionally, Lee Wittlinger, who has been an AMC director since 2018, will resign from his position on the board at the end of the year. His private investment firm Silver Lake sold its equity stake in AMC back in January 2021.

With both Putnam and Clark joining the board, three of AMC’s nine directors will now be female, whereas currently, just one of its eight members is a woman.

Though AMC stock had risen by market close on Thursday and was trading at $4.14, the stock fell below $4 a day earlier and was at a year-long low. The company has introduced a number of gimmicky moves in recent months, including renting out theaters for Zoom calls, launching an AMC credit card, and taking stake in a gold mine. But quite recently, the theater chain signaled that it might end its recently launched APE shares, currently trading at just $1.47, and roll them back into AMC stock as a means of raising the stock price.

The APE stocks — preferred equity share stocks named for the company’s meme-stock investors — have raised $162 million for the company and slashed $180 million of its debt obligations this year, and it also led to helping AMC acquire a closed Arclight location in Boston.

CEO Adam Aron also said via Twitter this week that he recommended a salary freeze for himself and the company’s top executives going into the new year. “No increase for those at the top is the right thing to do,” he wrote on Tuesday. “I have fans and bashers on Twitter, those who agree or disagree with my decisions. But know this: my motives are pure. I try as best as I know how to lead AMC through the painful aftermath of this horrid pandemic.”

Putnam served as Sundance Institute CEO between 2010 through 2021 and this year launched Putnam Pictures to independently produce film and TV. Prior to her time at Sundance, she was the president of production at Miramax for four years, and her films under her oversight were nominated for 34 Oscars and won seven.

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