Comms Lessons from Paramount’s Leadership Upheaval - Vested
Previously published on May 2, 2024 in
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Comms lessons from Paramount’s leadership upheaval

When there’s a shakeup at the top of an organization, the impact cascades through the organization, creating ripple effects well beyond the executive level. The leadership change that took place at Paramount earlier this week is a prime example of how shifts at that level can impact a company from the top down.

CEO Bob Bakish was ousted from his role amid news that the Paramount board is trying for a merger with Skydance Media.

Bakish’s parting remarks were amicable, with the longtime leader calling his time as CEO “the greatest honor of my professional life,”. But for those who remain at Paramount, questions and uncertainty abound.  Bakish’s job will be split between division heads in the new “Office of the CEO.”

What does that mean for employees, and how can organizations more clearly communicate about leadership changes? And how are an organization’s comms duties affected during these times?

“Don’t let all the external noise distract you from one of the top coms priorities —communicating clearly and concisely with employees so they understand the method to madness,” said Ted Birkhahn, managing director at Vested.

“The new leaders and their lieutenants must find a way to address the obvious questions and concerns running rampant throughout the organization,” he added. “Anything less will fuel speculation among employees and could lead to paralysis by fear, resulting in significant productivity loss and potentially irreparable harm to the employees’  trust in the company and its leaders.”

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