AMC Theaters Board Adds Keri Putnam, Former CEO of Sundance

Former Sundance boss Putnam and tech executive Dee Clark will both join the theater chain’s board of directors for 2023

As AMC Theaters heads into a critical 2023, the cinema chain has bestowed some indie credentials on its board. Keri Putnam, the former CEO of the Sundance Institute, will join the AMC board at the beginning of the new year, the company announced Thursday.

Putnam, who left Sundance in 2021, will join the board alongside another newcomer, global information technology executive Denise “Dee” Clark. Additionally, Lee Wittlinger, who has served as AMC Director since 2018, will step down from the Board at the end of the year. His private investment firm, Silver Lake, sold its stake in AMC back in January 2021.

With both Putnam and Clark joining the board, three of AMC’s nine directors will now be women, while currently only one of the eight directors is a woman.

Although AMC shares were up by Thursday’s close, trading at $4.14, the stock fell below $4 a day earlier to a yearly low. The company has rolled out a number of shenanigans in recent months, including renting out movie theaters for Zoom calls, launching an AMC credit card, and getting stakes in a gold mine. But just recently, the cinema chain signaled that it could exit its recently launched APE stock, currently trading at just $1.47, and roll it back into AMC stock to boost the share price.

APE shares — preferred stock named after the company’s meme stock investors — have raised $162 million for the company and reduced $180 million of its debt obligations this year, and it has also resulted in that AMC helped acquire a closed Arclight location in Boston.

CEO Adam Aron also said via Twitter this week that he recommended a pay freeze for himself and the company’s top executives for the new year. “No raise for the top is the right thing,” he wrote Tuesday. “I have fans and bashers on Twitter who agree or disagree with my decisions. But know this: My motives are pure. I’m trying to guide AMC through the painful aftermath of this terrible pandemic as best I can.”

Putnam was CEO of the Sundance Institute from 2010 to 2021 and this year founded Putnam Pictures to produce independently for film and television. Prior to her time at Sundance, she was Executive Producer at Miramax for four years, and her films under her supervision were nominated for 34 Academy Awards and won seven.

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Lindsay Lowe

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