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MGM boss Roger Birnbaum steps down

Gary Barber will become sole chairman and chief executive of US producer and distributor MGM after Roger Birnbaum stepped down.

Birnbaum, who was co-chairman and co-CEO alongside Barber, will become an exclusive producer for the company and will produce the company’s forthcoming reboot of feature film Robocop as well as new movies based on Deathwish and War Games.

This comes close to two years after Barber and Birnbaum were appointed co-chairman and co-CEOs after MGM emerged from bankruptcy.

The company is working on a number of major feature films including forthcoming James Bond movie Skyfall, which is joint venture with Sony Pictures Entertainment, and The Hobbit, which it is producing and distributing in association with Warner Bros.

It has also ramped up its television business with forthcoming History drama Vikings, a new season of MTV’s Teen Wolf and Fame with Nigel Lythgoe.

“Gary and I decided, two years ago, to accept the challenge of joining MGM and restoring the company to its rightful place in the industry. I am very proud of where MGM is today. I have been in the film business a long time, and my greatest passion has always been producing. Now is the time for me to return to what I love to do the most, producing films. And the fact that I will be producing for MGM, with Gary, my partner and friend will be very gratifying,” said Birnbaum.