Report: Michael Ovitz Maneuvering Triggers IMG Board Battle

It’s rare these days to see the name Michael Ovitz headlining an entertainment news “Exclusive,” especially one that has nothing to do with a valuable painting or expansive piece of property. But there he is today, in a firecracker piece on TheWrap co-authored by Sharon Waxman and Brent Lang.

According to the article, IMG Worldwide board member Ovitz has been aiming to take over the company while chairman and CEO Ted Forstmann (pictured) battled brain cancer. The firm represents Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and many other sports world A-listers. An IMG board conference call reportedly scheduled for today was set to address the idea of “ousting” Ovitz:

According to another insider, board members Jerry Perenchio and Irving Azoffrespectively the ex-CEO of Telemundo and executive chairman of LiveNation –are leading the charge to get Ovitz booted…

Ovitz had hoped to create an “executive committee” within the board, to whom management would report, rather than management’s current structure of reporting to Forstmann and Michael Dolan, the president and chief operating officer of the giant sports agency. Ovitz approached senior executives at IMG to let them know he was interested in buying the company, according to an individual with knowledge.

Ovitz’s treacherous betrayal of long-time friend and colleague Fortsmann allegedly has the support of billionaire board member Herbert Siegel as well as the backing of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan banker Greg O’Hara. If this is all accurate, it is another deeply Machiavellian Ovitz chapter.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.