Stephen Cooper '68 Named CEO of MGM
Restructuring expert Stephen F. Cooper ’68 has been named vice chairman of the newly formed “Office of the CEO” of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. He will lead the company along with production head Mary Parent and CFO Bedi A. Singh.
Cooper is the cofounder and former chairman of New York-based Zolfo Cooper, a firm that specializes in corporate recovery, crisis management, litigation support, performance improvement, and corporate finance. “I actually manage and organize trouble,” Cooper told Occidental magazine in 2002. Cooper’s main role at MGM, according to the announcement released by the studio, will be exploring options to improve the studio's balance sheet.
A statement from the MGM board said, “We welcome Steve, who brings unique expertise working with a wide variety of companies to improve their financial position.” Cooper, 62, brings more than 30 years of experience as a financial advisor to the beleaguered studio.
Ousted MGM CEO Harry Sloan said, “MGM can now draw from the excellent team we have assembled and attract top talent such as Steve Cooper to help lead the company through its next phase.”
MGM is struggling to refinance its $3.7-billion bank loan, according to an Aug. 19 article in the Los Angeles Times.
Cooper is no stranger to shepherding companies through hard times. He became interim CEO and chief restructuring officer of Enron Corp. in 2002, at the height of its financial troubles, and led the scandal-plagued company through its bankruptcy. Leaving Enron in 2005, he took over Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., and, more recently, Hawaiian Telcom Communications Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
A native of Gary, Ind., Cooper pledged Phi Gamma Delta at Occidental, where he played on the freshman football team. He graduated with honors in economics and received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.