BARCELONA — Peter Cohen, COO of Private Media Group,announced Thursday through an email to his staff and others that he will be stepping down from his position as chief operating officer of the company.
At the same time, current CEO of GameLink LLC, Ilan Bunimovitz was named new CEO Friday. Private acquired GameLinke in January of this year. Bunimovitz will replace Berth Milton as CEO, who will continue to serve as President and Chairman of the Board.
Two sources told AVN.com that Cohen had been terminated. He will leave the company next month.
When reached by AVN.com, Cohen wasn't able to discuss details of his departure, due to business concerns he was addressing on Thursday. However, he did pass on information to AVN.com, stating, "I will be leaving Private Media Group as of May 21 to pursue new opportunities."
Cohen is now referring all business-related matters to Bunimovitz.
"I would like to thank Peter Cohen for his work as COO. Peter honed Private’s digital strategy, which generated significant growth in new media and integrated GameLink into the Group," Milton said in a company press release. He also welcomed Bunimovitz as CEO, calling him, "one of the great pioneers of adult entertainment online."
Cohen has served as COO of Private since November 2006. He was a managing partner of MPP Ventures LLC, from 2003 to 2006; senior executive vice president of media and entertainment for BillboardLive from 2001 to 2002; and senior vice president of programming for The Box Music Network from 1997 to 2001. Cohen has held several other senior executive positions at media and entertainment companies, including HBO, CNN International, MuchMusic and ACTV Inc.
Cohen's annual compensation from the company was $225,000.
Private Media Group, which has been in business for more than 40 years, based in Sweden for most of that time until its move to Spain in the early 1990s, is a wide-ranging adult entertainment content producer, distributing content on the Internet, via DVD, magazines, digital TV and even into telephone handsets in 36 countries. GameLink, of which it completed acquisition via a stock transfer on Jan. 20 of this year, is one of the leading online retailers of adult entertainment in the U.S. from its base in San Francisco. It specializes in online distribution of adult content through its website, GameLink.com, and maintains distribution agreements with all of the major U.S. adult content providers, offering more than 60,000 adult titles in multiple popular media formats.
Bunimovitz has been executive vice president of Private’s Online Media Division since January 2009 when Private acquired San Francisco based GameLink LLC, the company he founded in 1993. His appointment as CEO is effective immediately, the company said, and he will be dividing his time between European and US operations.
"My background from the constantly-evolving online business fits comfortably with managing the company’s continuing transition to new media," said Bunimovitz.
Edward Duncan also contributed to this story.