NEW YORK – Executive changes and layoffs followed news of Univision Communications withdrawing its IPO stock offering last week.
Randy Falco, CEO, will retire at the end of the year, and Peter Lori, veteran Univision executive, will take over the CFO slot from Francisco Lopez-Balboa, who resigned last week.
The company also announced it laid off 20 employees, cuts it said were part of a larger company restructuring. The cuts included staffers from Fusion Media Group, the division consisting of the namesake network, as well as media properties such as The Onion and Gizmodo Media Group.
A Univision statement says that “as the media industry rapidly evolves, we are focused on continuing to transform UCI for the future. As part of this process, we have recently taken steps to realign parts of our operations and reallocate resources to invest in growth that will best serve our audiences, community, and partners. This week, 20 positions were eliminated across various UCI business units.”
Falco, a former NBCUniversal executive, had recently signed an extension to his contract, through January 2020. Reports suggest that Univision has been considering massive restructuring to reduce costs.
A statement from Haim Saban, chairman of Univision’s board of directors, reads: “There are multiple rumors out there and on behalf of the Univision Board. I would like to set the record straight about our CEO Randy Falco. Recently, Randy came to us and told us that he would like to retire at the end of 2018, when he will turn 65 years old, and end an outstanding eight-year tenure as the CEO of Univision. Let me be clear: We at the Board of Univision have reluctantly agreed to Randy’s wishes out of respect and the high regard we have for him as a partner.”
The statement included Falco’s achievements: “During his time as CEO, he has modernized the Univision organization, grown earnings, and reduced debt at record levels, and we could not be more pleased with his performance. We have asked Randy to work with us over the next year in restructuring the company and consult with the board on a transition to new leadership.”
In 2007, Univision Communications was sold for $13.7 billion to Saban, Providence Equity Partners, TPG Capital, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.