Panavision replaces CEO with former chief operating officer

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Panavision Inc., the Woodland Hills camera rental company that has struggled from heavy debt and management turnover, has appointed a new chief executive.

John Suh, Panavision’s former chief operating officer, was promoted to president and chief executive, the company announced in a short statement Wednesday.

Suh, who earlier worked at Technicolor and joined Panavision in March 2007 as the company’s chief financial officer, replaces CEO Bill Bevins. Bevins will now serve as board chairman.

No reason was given for the move. Suh was unavailable for an interview but in a statement said his appointment was part of a transition that was planned when Bevins joined the company in 2009.


“He will remain actively involved in handling the strategic role of the company, but the day-to-day operations will now fall under my direction,’' Suh said. ‘This is a continuation of the plans when Bill first came on board, not a change.”

The change at the top was the latest shakeup at Panavision. In 2009, Bevins was tapped by former owner Ron Perelman to turn the company around. Perelman had ousted Bob Beitcher.

Beitcher, in turn, was succeeded by Billy Campbell, a former president of Discovery Networks. But Campbell was on the job for just a couple of months before Perelman replaced him in June with Bevins, a longtime associate of Perelman’s.

A former chief financial officer for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Bevins also previously ran New World Communications Group Inc. and Marvel Entertainment Group Inc.

Perelman’s holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., last year handed over Panavision to a group of creditors, including Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Chrysler.

-- Richard Verrier