Chris Petrikin steps down as chief communications officer



Chris Petrikin has stepped down as Executive Vice President of Global Communications and Branding at Paramount Pictures. Its release follows the announcement this week that ViacomCBS is replacing studio chief Jim Gianopulos with Nickelodeon chief Brian Robbins. More executives are expected to follow him at the door during the leadership transition.

Petrikin was closely linked to Gianopulos, the couple working together for a decade at 20th Century Fox. After Stacey Snider took over the studio, Petrikin left Fox to form a strategic communications and crisis management consultancy.

Petrikin joined Fox in 2007 after leaving the William Morris agency to oversee corporate communications, media relations, commercial advertising, awards campaigns, special events and charitable activities. He joined William Morris in 2002 after working as a reporter and editor for several publications, including Variety, Daily Variety, and Inside Magazine.

Robbins is tasked with expanding Paramount’s contributions to Paramount Plus, the new streaming service that ViacomCBS launched in hopes of loosening Netflix’s dominance and competing with HBO Max and Disney Plus. His appointment came as a shock at the film studio where Gianopulos was highly respected and appreciated. Many senior executives, a group including cinema president Emma Watts and chief distribution officer Chris Aronson, worked alongside Gianopulos at Fox before joining him at Paramount.

Robbins is a former child actor who once starred in ABC’s “Head of the Class”. He reinvented himself as a producer and director, overseeing films such as “Hardball,†“Varsity Blues,†and the critically-criticized “Norbit†before becoming an entrepreneur. Robbins started AwesomenessTV, a YouTube channel aimed at teenagers, which he then sold to DreamWorks Animation and then to Viacom.

A spokesperson for ViacomCBS did not respond to a request for comment.


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