Robert M. Bakish

Robert M. Bakish '89
President and CEO, Viacom Inc., New York


Robert M. Bakish is the president and chief executive officer of Viacom Inc., where he is responsible for growing Viacom's industry-leading brands--including Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and BET--and the world-renowned Paramount Pictures film and television studio. Mr. Bakish also serves as president and chief executive officer of Viacom's newly formed Global Entertainment Group, where he oversees Viacom's flagship adult cable networks in the United States, as well as Viacom International Media Networks, the vehicle responsible for the company's media networks and business outside the United States. In addition, Mr. Bakish is chairman of the board of the company’s joint venture with India, Viacom 18, and serves on the boards of Viacom’s joint ventures with BSkyB and Telecom Italia Media, as well as on the board of Avid Technology, Inc.

Mr. Bakish was promoted to his new role in 2016 after serving as president and chief executive officer of Viacom International Media Networks (and its predecessor MTV Networks International) since 2007. Prior to taking over responsibility for Viacom’s international business, Mr. Bakish held a series of corporate, sales, and development roles at both Viacom Inc. and at Viacom’s MTV Networks (MTVN). From 2004 to 2006, he played a key role in Viacom’s senior management team, serving as executive vice president of Viacom Enterprises, where he was responsible for strategic planning, business development, and a range of business units including the Famous Music Publishing Company and Famous Players Theater Circuit in Canada. He served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of MTVN Advertising Sales from 2001 to 2004, and was also chairman of the Cable Television Advertising Bureau from 2003 to 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Bakish was senior vice president of Planning, Development, and Technology at Viacom. Before joining Viacom in February 1997, Mr. Bakish was a partner with Booz Allen Hamilton in its media and entertainment practice, working extensively with clients in the television, motion picture, book publishing, and new media industries across the globe. Previously, Mr. Bakish worked at AT&T in its network systems area.

Mr. Bakish received his bachelor of science in operations research from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) in 1985, and currently serves on the SEAS Board of Visitors. He earned his MBA from Columbia Business School in 1989, where in addition to being a member of the Board of Overseers, he is an active participant in the School’s Media Forum. Mr. Bakish is based in New York.