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CEO Charlie Rivkin ankles Henson

Brian and Lisa Henson named new CEO's

Courtesy of Daily Variety
November 12, 2003

Charles Rivkin, a 15-year veteran of the Jim Henson Co., has ankled as CEO of the family entertainment company.

Rivkin, who recently led the Hollywood-based company through an arduous two-year search for new ownership, will serve on the Henson board. He did not immediately detail other professional plans.

Brian Henson, son of the late Henson founder who led the family's recent re-acquisition of the company, will serve as co-chair and co-CEO, along with his sister Lisa Henson. Siblings Cheryl, Heather and John Henson will continue to serve as directors.

Peter Shube, previously exec VP of business and legal affairs, has been elevated to prexy and chief operating officer. Shube will share in the assumption of Rivkin's former responsibilities.

"On behalf of the Henson family and the entire organization, I want to thank Charlie Rivkin for his 15 years of extraordinary service to the Jim Henson Co.," Brian Henson said. "Charlie played a key role in keeping the company stable and moving forward after my father's death in 1990 and again over the past three very challenging years."

As a director, Rivkin will focus on helping Henson with new strategic relationships.

"Reflecting the success of (Rivkin's) efforts to date, we are now in advanced discussions with a number of prospective strategic partners, and we expect to announce the culmination of those efforts in the very near future," Brian Henson said.

From a foundation built on its core Muppets characters, Henson has been active over the years in an array of film and TV endeavors. Its most recent film project --- the well received talking-dogs laffer "Good Boy!" --- has grossed $37 million domestically since its Oct. 10 release by MGM.

In the future, Brian Henson will be most hands-on with the company's creature shop operations and its activities in film and TV productions, while also producing and directing various projects. Lisa Henson will oversee all creative projects from development through post-production.

"All of us on the Jim Henson team will work together to build on our proud heritage, leverage our unique assets and achieve our company's mission (of) making the world a better place by inspiring people to celebrate life," Lisa Henson said.

Rivkin joined Henson in 1988 as director of strategic planning. He was promoted to VP in 1990, senior VP-chief operating officer in 1991, exec veep-COO in 1994 and prexy COO in 1995, before ascending to chief exec three years ago.

"I am incredibly proud of what we've achieved here over the years and grateful to the Henson family for their eternal friendship," Rivkin said. "Jim Henson's legacy will live forever."

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