LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Legendary Hollywood deal-maker Ed Limato abruptly departed from his longterm home at ICM last Friday, Variety reported.
Limato is a major figure in the film business, repping major talent like Denzel Washington and Mel Gibson among a long list of others and long considered to be the core of ICM's motion picture unit, thus his abrupt departure is another strong indicator of the major upheavals taking place at the firm.
Although there had been rumors of Limato's impending departure, the precipitating event appeared to occur on Friday, when chairman & CEO Jeff Berg along with president and television impresario Chris Silbermann, issued a memo announcing that Limato had been demoted from co-president to a mere movie agent, ostensibly in order to, as the memo stipulated "support the next generation of leadership" Variety reported.
Limato, a three decade ICM film veteran, had found himself sharing the role of president with Silbermann who came to ICM when they acquired Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann, a boutique agency that focused primarily on television, in 2006. The situation seemed rife for contention but the details are less sure. Limato's loyalists claim that he had been shunted aside in favor of Silbermann while others cite Limato as the obstructionist, according to Variety. The only thing that is certain is that Limato is definitely out.
What does the future hold for Ed Limato? There have been rumors around CAA, UTA and Endeavor, but William Morris seems more and more likely as a possible destination. More challenging for Limato will be resolving his contract with ICM which includes, according to Variety, a non-compete clause that will keep him anchored to ICM as a consultant for several years and bar him from taking major clients with him as he transitions to another agency. ICM's lawyers have had a lot of practice with this, having recently tried unsuccessfully to prevent ICM literary agent Richard Abate from hopping the fence to Endeavor earlier this year.
Its still too early to tell how this will affect ICM's motion picture arm. Limato was a veteran deal-maker with a solid roster of talent and industry connections that run both wide and deep, but as Variety noted, the change may give the firm, as ICM hopes, more latitude to bring in a hungry, young star deal-maker and create a long-term strategy for success – in either case, it is a tumultuous time for ICM. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers