With the recent news of Rich Ross and his early departure from Walt Disney as Head of Motion Pictures, I thought it was a good time to be thinking about entertainment executives, and the perpetual hot seat they sit on. How they should employ advisors to help guide them through the entrance into their executive role, as well as planning for the eventual departure from their position.
Entertainment executives have long lived on the hot seat, as their position to decide what movies or televisions shows get seen generates a high level of criticism from both the creative and the financial communities. Being able to get both creative and financial acclaim is a difficult proposition and everyone loves to blame someone for the downfall of a high profile movie or television series.
When executives get either the accolades for success, or the ridicule for failure, it usually means that they will either parlay this into a better employment agreement, or they will be negotiating their exit from the studio. Under either of these scenarios the executive should be consulting both their attorney and business manager to help obtain the best financial results possible. This means having both the legal and financial advocates that can help with contract negotiation, compensation and stock option valuation, tax implications, as well as fringe benefits negotiation and evaluation. Being able to analyze all of these options and scenarios is very important, and can be of significant value both legally and financially.
Also of most importance for executives living on this perpetual hot seat is planning for the eventual end of their current position. Since they live under such scrutiny, it is paramount to make the proper planning in order to maximize the positive opportunities received from this position. This is especially true if the executive has made it to the upper echelon of company ranks. The target on their their backs is large, which is one reason why they earn such substantial paychecks. Investing, estate planning, tax planning, retirement planning, budgeting, and saving for the future are all crucial if your goal is to maximize the financial success that comes along with rising to such heights within the entertainment industry.
The more planning done up front the better you will feel when the ride comes to its eventual end, as so many of these do.
If you have any specific questions about planning please don’t hesitate to contact us.