Participant completes CEO hunt

FortitudeEp1_AS00714--genericUS cable channel owner Participant Media has appointed former studio executive David Linde to fill its vacant CEO spot.

The move comes six months after Jim Berk resigned from the chief executive role following a strategic review of the business, which owns cable channel Pivot.

Linde joins from Lava Bear Films, a production company he founded after a long period working for the likes of Universal Pictures, where he was chairman; indie Focus Features; Good Machine, which Universal acquired in 2002; and Miramax.

Participant operates in both television – it was a coproducer of Sky’s big-budget crime mystery drama Fortitude (pictured) and produces Hot Record on TV with Joseph Gordon Levitt – and feature films, with a slate of 12 movies launching this year.

Media recruitment firm Egon Zehnder, which has previously aided organisations such as the BBC on executive searches, assisted Participant in its quest for a new CEO.

Linde will join Participant on November 1, according to company founder and chairman Jeff Skoll.

Participant has been changing its guard after Skoll’s strategic review suggested international roll-out of its brands had been slow. COO Jeff Ivers also exited the LA-based company following the evaluation.

“David has the creative acumen to tell stories on the issues that matter, the respect of the artistic and business communities, and entrepreneurial talent to advance these stories by any means possible throughout the world,” said Skoll.