When news broke in mid-May that Jeff Blackburn was rejoining Amazon.com Inc. to run the company’s entertainment division, industry observers figured big changes were afoot. Why else would Blackburn quit his job at a Silicon Valley venture firm after just five weeks?
Then the world learned that Amazon was looking to buy Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company on Wednesday announced it would acquire the legendary Hollywood studio for $8.45 billion, a princely sum for a catalog that includes the James Bond, Robocop and Rocky franchises.
Now Blackburn, who previously oversaw Amazon’s entertainment and advertising groups before joining Bessemer Venture Partners earlier this year, must integrate MGM, mine the studio’s catalog for new hits and help fulfill Jeff Bezos’s long-standing request for his own “Game of Thrones.”
As senior vice president of the new Global Media & Entertainment group, Blackburn will oversee Prime Video, Amazon Studios, music and podcast services, video games and the Twitch livestream platform. An Amazon spokesperson said MGM teams will report to Mike Hopkins, who oversees Prime Video and Amazon Studios; Hopkins will report to Blackburn when he rejoins Amazon next month.