Written by 09:32 Business

Meet David Ellison, the CEO of Skydance and Paramount’s New Owner

David Ellison’s Hollywood career has been defined by high-octane blockbusters filled with suspense, stunts and improbable plot twists.

But on Sunday he landed his biggest cliffhanger yet, striking a deal to merge with Paramount after months of negotiations with the company and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. If the deal closes, he will be in charge of a sprawling media empire that includes CBS, MTV and the Paramount movie studio.

Though Mr. Ellison, 41, joined the cast of Hollywood’s power players more than a decade ago, he hasn’t taken center stage until now. Here’s a look at his career.

A quick perusal of Mr. Ellison’s page on the Internet Movie Database shows a relatively undistinguished acting career, with minor roles in films like the fighter drama “Flyboys” and teen comedy “The Chumscrubber” (in which he played “Student No. 1”). It wasn’t until he became a producer that his star in Hollywood began to rise.

After he dropped out of the University of Southern California and gave up on acting, Mr. Ellison turned to producing. His family’s considerable influence — he is the son of the Oracle founder Larry Ellison — helped him bankroll big-budget films like “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Along the way, the valuation of Mr. Ellison’s company Skydance Media ballooned to more than $4 billion, after private-equity firms like RedBird Capital Partners and KKR invested in it. Mr. Ellison, the chief executive of Skydance, has co-produced hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” with Paramount, giving him an entree to the company’s executives and its most valuable franchises.

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Last modified: 11 July 2024
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