Skip Paul has joined Centerview Partners as a Los Angeles-based senior advisor in the firm’s advisory practice, with a focus on the media and entertainment markets. He most recently was interim CEO of National Golf Properties (sold to Goldman Sachs) and the founder investor in Flektor (sold to News Corp).
Centerview Partners announced that Skip Paul, a media and entertainment veteran, will join the firm as a senior advisor in its advisory practice. Mr. Paul will be a key participant in Centerview’s expansion in the media and entertainment sectors, and will be based in Centerview’s Los Angeles office.
An executive with more than 30 years experience operating at the highest level of the media and entertainment industry, Mr. Paul has achieved success across an array of sectors from motion picture and video games to theme parks and social networking companies. Mr. Paul brings to Centerview successful transactional and operational experience working with both established and emerging companies and management teams. In addition to start-up ventures and recent merger and acquisition involvement with companies including News Corp. and Viacom, the historic $6 billion sale of entertainment giant MCA to Matsushita Electric is a notable early pact Mr. Paul helped to engineer.
“Skip has been a friend and client for over 20 years,” said Adam Chinn, a co-founder of Centerview Partners. “He has earned the highest level of respect in the media and entertainment industry, and has the objective judgment and a command of the business garnered from his deep experience. It is with great enthusiasm, both personal and professional, that we welcome him to Centerview Partners.”
“After 30 years in the entertainment business, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join this experienced team at Centerview to provide both independent and high level advice which I value as an executive,” said Mr. Paul.
About Skip Paul
Skip Paul started his business career at Atari, where he rose to President of the Atari Coin-operated Game Company, a division with annual revenues of over $100 million generated from popular coin-operated consoles including “Asteroids” and “Centipede.” After negotiating the sale of this business to Namco of Japan, he made his foray into the movie industry joining MCA Inc in 1985. For the next decade, Mr. Paul served as President of MCA Enterprise and Executive Vice President of MCA Inc. While there, Mr. Paul was involved with mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, and represented Universal, Paramount and MGM in negotiations for the first Hollywood distribution deal with the People’s Republic of China. Also during his tenure, he launched Universal Interactive Studios, developers of lucrative video game franchises including “Crash Bandicoot,” and was instrumental in the planning, construction and opening of Universal Studios Florida as well as the origination of Universal Studios Japan.
In 1995, Mr. Paul teamed with Steven Spielberg as co-founder and Chairman of the national location-based entertainment chain Sega Gameworks. Next, as Chairman of groundbreaking Internet entertainment destination IFILM, he oversaw the startup’s growth and sale to Viacom’s MTV. Mr. Paul also served as interim CEO of National Golf Properties, a NYSE-listed owner and operator of more than 400 golf courses, and supervised the restructuring of over $600 million in debt. Under Mr. Paul’s stewardship, the REIT sold to Goldman Sachs for more than $1 billion. He was also a founding investor in Flektor, a software developer specializing in social networking applications that was sold to News Corp. just 12 months after inception.
Mr. Paul has held board positions at companies including MCA Inc. (NYSE), National Golf Properties (NYSE), AMC Entertainment (AMEX), Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE), Cineplex Odeon (NYSE), Interplay Productions – Video Games (NASDAQ) and the 3DO Company (NASDAQ). Mr. Paul is active in numerous charitable organizations including the Shoah Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg, where he has been a member of the Board for the past 15 years.
Mr. Paul was educated at Stanford University and received his J.D. from the University of Santa Clara and he served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
About Centerview Partners
Centerview Partners, based in New York, operates an investment banking advisory practice and a private equity business. The advisory business specializes in independent advice and other client services capitalizing on the experience of its principals. The firm provides senior-level counsel to both domestic and international clients. Members of the firm have experience in a range of industries including the consumer products, financial services, food and beverage, entertainment and media, general industrial and retail sectors. The private equity business has an operational excellence focus and targets its investments in consumer-oriented industries.