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Miramax CEO Lang’s departure followed clashes with board, staff

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Miramax Chief Executive Mike Lang’s departure came after a rocky tenure during which he frequently clashed with the company’s board of directors and staff, according to people familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak publicly.

The independent Santa Monica studio announced Friday that Lang had resigned after just 15 months on the job. The news came as a surprise because Lang has spearheaded a number of deals that Miramax’s owners have boasted led to financial success. They included a DVD distribution agreement with Lionsgate and Studiocanal and digital partnerships with Netflix, Hulu and Facebook.

In a December interview, Richard Nanula, Miramax’s chairman and a principal at its co-owner Colony Capital, said that since it was acquired Miramax has added $325 million in contracted cash flow from those deals. In addition, the studio raised about $500 million of new debt in the fall, which allowed its owners to get paid back for the majority of their investment when they acquired Miramax and its 700-title movie library from Walt Disney Co. in late 2010 for about $660 million.

But despite the owners’ satisfaction with Miramax’s performance, they apparently could not find a way to work with Lang for much longer than a year.

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Lang did not respond to calls seeking comment. Through a spokeswoman, Nanula declined to comment.

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-- Ben Fritz


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