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Barber becomes sole CEO of MGM movie studio

Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 1:39 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., the movie studio that is co-financing the upcoming James Bond film, "Skyfall," said Wednesday that Gary Barber will be the sole chairman and CEO of the studio, as Roger Birnbaum moves to the role of producer after sharing the MGM leadership role for almost two years.

The move comes months after MGM said in a securities filing that it was preparing for a possible initial public offering of stock.

Birnbaum will return to a hands-on role and will oversee production of a reboot of "Robocop," which began shooting last month. Other upcoming projects Birnbaum will produce include films based on "Deathwish," "War Games" and "Magnificent Seven."

Barber and Birnbaum were appointed co-chairs and co-CEOs in December 2010 as MGM was emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Creditors including Highland Capital Management and Anchorage Advisors took over the studio as partial payment for $5 billion in loans that were in default.

MGM is preparing to sell shares to the public amid the hype surrounding the newest Bond film, due out later this month, as well as the first installment of "The Hobbit," which MGM is co-producing with Warner Bros. and is set for release in December.