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Viacom Promotes Davis to CFO Job, Replacing Barge

Viacom Inc., the media giant that owns the Paramount film studios and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV, promoted Wade Davis to the job of chief financial officer, replacing Jimmy Barge.

Davis, who had served as executive vice president of strategy and corporate development, will add the additional responsibilities immediately, New York-based Viacom said today in a statement. After a transitional period, Barge will leave to pursue other opportunities, the company said.

Davis, 40, joined Viacom almost seven years ago as a senior vice president in charge of mergers and acquisitions. The former investment banker helped oversee the company’s Viacom18 venture in India and its Epix premium cable channel.

“This is a well-deserved promotion for Wade, who has made so many contributions to the growth and success of Viacom,” Chief Operating Officer Thomas Dooley said in the statement. “We are fortunate to have such a multitalented executive in our ranks with the leadership skills and the depth of experience to move seamlessly into the CFO role.”

While Davis brings a background in M&A, he’s taking the job at a time when Viacom sees fewer opportunities to make deals.

“Looking at the universe of available acquisitions out there, I continue to not see any large-scale acquisition that makes sense for Viacom,” Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said after the company’s earnings report earlier this month. “We have a lot to do in growing organically.”

Before joining Viacom in 2005, Davis worked at various financial firms, including Wasserstein Perella & Co. and Lazard Freres & Co.

Viacom shares rose 0.5 percent to $50.38 at the close today in New York. The stock has gained 11 percent this year.

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