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Paramount Global’s Top Lawyer to Exit

Christa D’Alimonte, Paramount Global’s EVP, general counsel and secretary, is exiting at the end of the month after 12 years at the company and its predecessor Viacom.

D’Alimonte on Tuesday informed her team that she will be leaving the company on June 28 (read the memo below). In the memo, she didn’t provide a reason for her exit. With D’Alimonte’s departure, Caryn Groce, EVP, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary, will step in as acting general counsel.

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Paramount Global’s three co-CEOs — George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy and Brian Robbins — wrote in a memo to senior staffers Tuesday, “We are grateful to Christa for her contributions, and we wish her the very best going forward.”

[UPDATE, 6/21: Paramount Global said in an SEC filing that D’Alimonte’s “separation from the company will be considered a termination without cause and she will be entitled to receive the post-employment payments and benefits associated with an involuntary termination without cause under her employment agreement dated as of March 15, 2022.”]

News of D’Alimonte’s departure comes a week after Shari Redstone’s National Amusements Inc., Paramount’s controlling shareholder, broke off merger talks with Skydance Media at the eleventh hour. The company’s three-exec CEO team, installed after the ouster of Bob Bakish in late April, have outlined a go-it-alone strategy to slash costs through layoffs and other measures, divest certain assets and form a joint venture or other partnership to scale Paramount+. Last month, Julia Phelps, EVP and chief communications and corporate marketing officer, left after almost 20 years with Paramount Global and Viacom.

D’Alimonte had joined Viacom as SVP, deputy general counsel and assistant secretary in 2012 before rising to the role of EVP, general counsel and secretary of Viacom in 2017. She was responsible for overseeing Viacom’s global legal functions, as well as the company’s HR organization and its security, facilities and real estate teams. Prior to Viacom, she was deputy practice group leader of Shearman & Sterling LLP’s global M&A group after originally joining the firm in 1993.

Groce joined Paramount Global in 2010. Previously, she was senior corporate transactions counsel at NBCUniversal and was a corporate associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Hogan Lovells.

Read D’Alimonte’s memo to her team:

Team,

As some of you know, I will be leaving Paramount at the end of the month.

It has been more than 25 years since I first represented Viacom, and nearly 12 years since I first walked through the revolving doors of 1515 Broadway as an employee. I have always been amazed by the extraordinary ways in which this department touches literally everything that happens at Paramount. Our work doesn’t often make headlines or get recognized at glitzy award shows, but you are the heart and soul of this company. You are key to the development and production of every piece of content, every tentpole, every marketing campaign, every distribution deal, every financing transaction, every real estate lease, the safety and experience of every employee… The list goes on and on. Your dedication, your commitment to excellence and your collaborative nature are behind it all.

One of my favorite quotes is from the late, great Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Indeed, I’d have a hard time compiling a list of all the matters I’ve worked on over the years – but I will never forget how you’ve made me feel. I have been energized by your positivity, even in uncertain times. I’ve been floored by your intelligence and creativity, especially when dealing with novel and tricky issues. I’ve been humbled by your generosity with your time and expertise when I’ve sought guidance and help. I’ve been overwhelmed with pride at the team we have developed. And I’ve felt blessed every day to call you colleagues and friends. I hope that I’ve been able to do the same for you.

I’m cheering for you going forward, can’t wait to see what is next and very much hope we stay in touch.

Christa

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