IMG Board Member Ovitz Fails In Takeover Bid; Board Discusses His Removal
The fate of IMG board member Michael Ovitz "remained in the balance as Monday arrived, with senior management having conferred with legal counsel over the weekend as to how to remove him from the board," according to Sharon Waxman of THE WRAP. IMG COO Mike Dolan is "furious at Ovitz’s maneuvering to take over management of the company" as Chair & CEO Ted Forstmann fights brain cancer. The battle "burst into the open on Friday, after Ovitz had apparently called other board members in recent days to discuss a new management structure in which Dolan would report to an executive committee." A source said that Dolan, who "is in charge" in Forstmann's absence, "consulted with legal counsel as to what measures could be taken to remove Ovitz from the board." Forstmann "has the right to remove advisory board members, but it is still unclear as to who has the authority to do so in his absence" (THEWRAP.com, 10/2). A source Friday said that IMG board members Jerry Perenchio and Irving Azoff are “leading the charge to get Ovitz booted.” IMG Senior VP/Corporate Communications Jim Gallagher “declined to comment on any takeover bid by Ovitz.” Gallagher said, "No offer for IMG has been sought and no offer has been received. IMG is not for sale." But sources “confirmed the particulars of Ovitz's moves.” IMG advisory board members “rejected his overtures, regarding Ovitz’s behavior as deeply disloyal” to Forstmann. Sources said that Ovitz “was supported in his play for IMG by his fellow board member, the billionaire Herbert Siegel.” He also “had the backing of Greg O’Hara, the J.P. Morgan banker who runs much of the entertainment-related merger business, and Goldman Sachs” (THEWRAP.com, 9/30).