The last veteran top Viacom executive from the company’s previous regime, Cyma Zarghami, is stepping down as President of Nickelodeon Group after more than thirty years with the network. While Viacom conducts a search for a successor to lead Nickelodeon, Sarah Levy, Chief Operating Officer of Viacom Media Networks, will lead the network on an interim basis.
Zarghami’s exit comes only a few days after the departure of Debra Lee, who stepped down from her position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Networks after three decades. All Viacom cable networks have undergone leadership changes as part of reorganizations implemented by Bob Bakish since he became Viacom president and CEO in early 2017. Under the realignment, the company focused on six “flagship” brands, inch include Nickelodeon as well as BET.
“Over the course of her career, Cyma has played an integral role in growing Nickelodeon into the dominant force in kids’ entertainment. Her instincts for creating content and experiences that kids love have been vital to the brand’s success around the world,” said Bakish. “Looking to the future, we are excited to build on this strong foundation as we continue to evolve the business and connect with young audiences in new and innovative ways. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to Cyma for her leadership and wish her every success.”
During the transition, Levy will work with Nickelodeon’s existing leadership team to manage the brand’s operations. Their focus will be to successfully launch Nickelodeon’s largest-ever content pipeline of more than 800 new episodes and accelerate the brand’s push into new and next-generation viewing platforms, film, live experiences and consumer products.
Zarghami joined Nickelodeon in 1985 and was named its President in 2006. Under her leadership, Nickelodeon has become a leading global brand for kids, spanning linear and multiplatform programming, film, live experiences and consumer products.