Viacom Appoints Wade Davis CFO; Jimmy Barge Out

Big changes ahead for entertainment conglomerate

Jimmy Barge is out and Wade Davis is in the top financial spot at Viacom. Davis will take over as CFO after a brief period of transition between the two executives. Once Davis is installed, Barge will leave the company "to pursue other opportunities," according to a statement issued by Viacom.

"We want to thank Jimmy for his professionalism and many years of dedicated service to Viacom, particularly his outstanding work to strengthen our financial position," said Viacom's COO Thomas E. Dooley. The company continues to boast a healthy and consistently rising share price thanks in large part to share repurchase programs offered under Barge; however, the company is now offering $250 million in senior debentures that will be used to finance that program, which is on track to buy some $2.5 billion of its own shares in 2013.

Davis, formerly evp of strategy and corporate development, has overseen several of the company's major business moves over the last few years, including the acquisition of Dreamworks SKG and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, on which Viacom has pinned much of its hope for kids network Nickelodeon.

Viacom faces ratings woes at Nick and MTV, and thus has been under pressure to invite new talent, or at least jettison old talent. Things remain largely unchanged at Nick, though MTV recently tapped Susanne Daniels to to head programming at the network.