Dive Brief:

  • Hallmark Media is tapping Paramount veteran Anaïs Lempereur to serve as its CFO, the New York-based media company announced Wednesday in a press release. A subsidiary of Hallmark cards, Hallmark Media operates the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Mystery and Hallmark Family networks.
  • Lempereur, who mostly recently served as SVP, streaming finance and CFO for Paramount’s Pluto TV segment, will officially join Hallmark in August, according to the release. She will report to Jim Shay, CFO of Hallmark, the company said.
  • Hallmark Media’s CFO seat has been vacant since the company appointed its previous finance chief, John Matts, as chief operating officer of Hallmark Media earlier this year, a company spokesperson told CFO Dive. The company declined to comment on Lempereuer’s appointment beyond the details included in the Wednesday press release.

Dive Insight:

Lempereur has served as the Pluto TV CFO for four years, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to Paramount Global, she served as VP of finance for salad chain Sweetgreen and has also served as global director, FP&A for music streaming platform Spotify.  

Anaïs Lempereur headshot

Anaïs Lempereur

Permission granted by Hallmark Media

 

Her appointment comes after the Christmas and romance movie maker made major cuts to its executive suite earlier this year, with four of its C-suite leaders — including its chief marketing officer, Lara Richardson, chief people officer, Pamela Wolfe, EVP of research strategy, Robin Thomas, and head of distribution, Judi Lopez — departing the company, Deadline reported in January.

Her predecessor Matts, meanwhile, assumed the COO role in January after serving as its finance chief beginning October 2022, according to his LinkedIn profile. The CFO to COO shuffle came after Hallmark’s CEO, Wonya Lucas, stepped down in 2023 with Mike Perry assuming the chair, according to reports at the time.

In joining Hallmark, Lempereur is also the latest in a swell of executives that have departed from Los Angeles, California-based Paramount in recent months.

The entertainment giant has recently announced sweeping leadership changes as it looks to clamp down on rising debt and cut back streaming losses, noting its CEO and president, Bob Bakish, would be stepping down from his roles as of April. Paramount announced the creation of the “Office of the CEO” for the business, with three executives — George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins — to serve as a triumvirate at the top of the entertainment giant’s executive team.

In a separate release, the company also reported its Q1 2024 earnings results, where it narrowed losses in its direct-to-consumer segment — which includes its Paramount+ streaming platform — by 44% to $286 million compared to $511 million for the prior year period. It reported a net loss of $544 million for the quarter, compared to a net loss of approximately $1.1 billion for the prior year.

Bakish’s exit was followed by several other high-profile departures, including Jo Ann Ross, the chairman of its ad sales division, Julia Phelps, its chief communications and corporate marketing officer, and chief digital advertising officer David Lawenda, according to reports by Variety citing company memos.

Earlier this month, Paramount announced in a securities filing that its General Counsel and Secretary Christa A. D’Alimonte, would be leaving the company on June 28 in a separation that will be considered “a termination without cause.”

Since Bakish’s departure, Paramount’s Office of the CEO have continued to work to cut down on the company’s losses while fielding the blowback from a failed merger with fellow entertainment company Skydance — which sent shares tumbling to their lowest level since 2019, Deadline reported earlier this month.

In a town hall with Paramount employees earlier this week, the co-CEOs outlined plans to reduce $500 million in costs, which includes hiring bankers to potentially sell off certain company assets and a company reorganization which could include layoffs, according to a report by the Hollywood Reporter.

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