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Demoted by ICM, Limato will depart

July 14, 2007|Lorenza Munoz | Times Staff Writer

Longtime talent agent Ed Limato, whose clients include such stars as Denzel Washington and Mel Gibson, is on his way out of International Creative Management as part of a restructuring of the agency's ranks.

Limato's lawyers were negotiating his departure on Friday in the wake of his demotion from co-president to agent in the agency's motion picture division.

The agency has been undergoing major changes since the acquisition of literary agency Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann last year.

That followed a 2005 restructuring in which a little-known Connecticut financier agreed to invest about $100 million in the agency.

Chris Silbermann, who was co-president with Limato, now holds the title of president alone and is putting his imprint on the agency.

At 39, Silbermann is significantly younger than Limato and ICM Chief Executive Jeff Berg. Since arriving at ICM, he has led an effort to make the agency more team-oriented and to hire younger blood.

"ICM is restructuring the business to ensure that we develop the most innovative projects for our clients," Berg said. "As part of this process, the agency is making fundamental changes throughout the business to support the next generation of leadership. Ed has been a highly regarded member of our firm for the past 19 years and we appreciate his efforts."

Limato, known for hosting an annual Oscar-eve bash attended by A-list stars, declined to comment.

It is unclear whether Limato's clients will stay with ICM. But losing Limato's relationships could prove a blow to the agency's motion picture division.

Limato and ICM are in dispute over a noncompete clause in his contract. A decision via arbitration is expected by Aug. 1.

The current shake-up follows last summer's departure of former head of television and partner Nancy Josephson. Josephson was picked up by Endeavor.

lorenza.munoz@latimes.com

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