You can call her the HCIC—Head chingona in charge!
Maria Contreras-Sweet, the former head of the Small Business Administration under Obama, led a group of investors to buy the embattled Weinstein Company for $500 million dollars.
Along with billionaire Ronad Burkle, the Mexican immigrant closed the deal this week after a dramatic negotiation that almost ended last Sunday. That's when the The Weinstein Company released a scathing letter to the press addressed to Contreras-Sweet and her investors saying, "We must conclude that your plan to buy this company was illusory and would only leave this Company hobbling toward its demise to the detriment of all constituents."
The letter was released several days after Contreras-Sweet met with the New York State Attorney Eric Schniederman wherein Contreras-Sweet addressed his concerns about a victims fund and the vision for the future of the company. Earlier in the month Schniederman blocked the sale when he filed a civil rights lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein.
On Thursday, Contreras-Sweet was victorious, finally winning the deal. In a statement, she said her group will "launch a new company, with a new board and a new vision that embodies the principles that we have stood by since we began this process last fall....Those principles have never wavered and have always been to build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed. The cornerstone of our plan has been to launch a new company that represents the best practices in corporate governance and transparency…. I have had a long-standing commitment to fostering women ownership in business. This potential deal is an important step to that end." How inspiring!!!
In the past she said: "It is important for me to reiterate the values that have embodied this deal since day one. My initial offer letter...clearly stated my intentions to build a company led by women, to retain the employees, to assume all liabilities and protect small businesses, to create a mediation process for victims and guarantee a litigation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage. In addition, the cornerstone of our plan was to launch a company that represented the gold standard in governance and transparency."
Contreras-Sweet is expected to run the new board of directors, which will be composed of mostly women. Congrats and best of luck, Maria!!