THE 10% DISSOLUTION

WITH ITS FOUNDERS GONE, HOLLYWOOD'S TOP TALENT AGENCY FACES DAUNTING CHANGE--BUT THEN SO DOES THE REST OF THE BUSINESS

Whoopi and Winona, Madonna and Barbra, Chevy and Sly. Aside from having idiosyncratic first names, these stars all share something else: over the past seven months, they've walked away from the Creative Artists Agency, once the supreme force in Hollywood dealmaking. But that was then--then being the 1980s to the mid-'90s. Since last fall, more than two dozen clients have ankled, as the trade papers would put it, joined just last week by Liam Neeson and Ben Stiller.

Much of the exodus can be directly linked to the departures last year of the agency's shrewd, ruthless chairman, Michael Ovitz, and its...

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