The announcement was one of several management moves announced by the company.
The hiring of Phillips comes a year after CBS named Laurie Rosenfield as chief people officer following a series of incidents involving sexual harassment and misconduct among CBS executives including former CEO Les Moonves.
It was not clear if Rosenfield would remain at the company.
Marva Smalls executive vice president, global head of inclusion strategy at Viacom, will be executive vice president, global head of inclusion at ViacomCBS. Josie Thomas, who has been with CBS for 30 years and is currently executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, will retire after staying on through a transitionary period, according to an email to staff from CBS acting CEO Joe Ianniello.
Viacom and CBS also said that Alex Berkett, senior vice president of corporate development & strategy at Viacom, will become executive vice president, corporate development and strategy for ViacomCBS.
Jose Tolosa, chief transformation officer at Viacom, will expand his responsibilities as executive vice president, chief transformation officer at the combined company. Tolosa will oversee integration efforts for the combined company and lead its strategic planning function. He will also oversee the global business services and global sourcing divisions, helping to drive synergies.
Patrick O’Connell, executive vice president and head of corporate development at CBS, and Gautam Ranji, executive vice president, strategic planning and development at CBS will remain with the company into 2020 and transition out of their current roles, CBS said.
“With today’s appointments, we now have in place the entire senior management team for ViacomCBS, ensuring we will hit the ground running when the transaction closes in just a few weeks,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish, who will be CEO of the combined company. “Working together, these leaders will help us realize the full potential of our considerable assets and competitive strengths.”
In his memo, Ianniello called Thomas a dedicated and passionate leader.
“As the architect of CBS’ Diversity and Inclusion function, Josie has dedicated more than half of her career leading the charge on one of our company’s most important initiatives,” he said. “Her commitment to fairness, collaboration and respect, which are the foundational principles of our CBS diversity policy, influences the various programs and processes under which the company operates. Everything from our hiring practices to the programs we present on air has benefited from Josie and her remarkable team.”
In another memo to staff, Ianniello and CFO Christina Spade called O’Connell a key member of the team that negotiated our merger terms with Viacom, led CBS to take full ownership of Pop and finalized the separation from the radio business. “We have come to value his deep experience and sharp insights in driving our M&A strategy,” the memo said. “We are pleased Patrick has decided to stay with us until early next year before moving on to the next chapter of his impressive career.”
The memo said that Ranji will work closely with Tolosa through the spring. “Gautam is a talented and versatile executive who we have relied on to evaluate and close many important negotiations. He has also added a strategic focus to all that we do in the Company and has been an important champion of our successful growth initiatives.”
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.