Deborah Barak, president of business operations for CBS Entertainment, CBS News and CBS Television Studios, is stepping down from her role at the company at the end of this year.
Barak’s departure will end a lengthy tenure at CBS, where the executive has worked her way up through the legal and business affairs operations over 35 years. She was most recently promoted to her current position in 2015 by then-CBS boss Les Moonves.
Her exit comes amid a period of transition for CBS in the wake of its re-merger with Viacom late last year. Moonves’ successor Joe Ianniello, is expected to step down this spring. Barak’s decision to exit is said to have long been in the works and is unrelated to the merger.
“Debby is someone who intentionally keeps a low profile, but has a very big presence within our halls and will leave a legacy of accomplishments that will benefit CBS for years to come,” CBS chairman and CEO Joe Ianniello said in a statement.
“In her role, she has negotiated our biggest talent deals and far-reaching licensing agreements, as well as created new business models to expand our programming portfolio. Debby’s deal-making and business acumen have supported CBS in its run as the #1 network and the rise of CBS Television Studios to a powerhouse production company with more than 75 series. Her business guidance and license fee templates have also helped CBS All Access grow in the original content space.
“We’ve known for a while that Debby was in the process of winding down her incredible career at CBS. When that day comes, she will be missed and all of us will wish her much success in every future endeavor. At the same time, the Company is fortunate to have her here until the end of the year to help us chart future leadership and strategies for the business operations at the Network and Studio.”