As has been openly expected since Discovery announced it would be taking over WarnerMedia from AT&T more than a year ago, most of the studios top brass are headed for the door just as the USD $43 billion deal is set to close. It would be more accurate to say that Discovery is cleaning out the senior executives put in place by AT&T to run WarnerMedia and installing their own management team.
Let’s start with who won’t be making the transition. These include CEO Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group chairman and CEO Ann Sarnoff, chief financial officer Jennifer Biry, chief human resources officer Jim Cummings, head of streaming Andy Forssell, chief revenue officer Tony Goncalves, executive vice president of communications Christy Haubegger, general counsel Jim Meza and chief technology officer Richard Tom.
David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Inc., has already announced the team that will be leading what is to be named Warner Bros. Discovery. At the top of the food chain will be JB Perrette, who will be CEO and President of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment. Kathleen Finch will become Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group, a newly created role responsible for seeing television assets. Another new position is Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer, is being filled by Bruce Campbell.
There is a group of executives simply making the transition from Discovery to the new Warner Bros. Discovery. These include Gunnar Wiedenfels as Chief Financial Officer, Savalle Sims as General Counsel, Lori Locke as Chief Accounting Officer, as well as Adria Alpert Romm as Chief People and Culture Officer.
Then there are those who are staying on such as Channing Dungey, who continues as Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group. Casey Bloys will remain Chief Content Officer of HBO and HBO Max. May be the most important senior executive from a cinema industry standpoint is Toby Emmerich will maintain his role as Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. A longtime executive in the Warner family of companies, Emmerich will oversee Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation and all DC films.
Watch this space over the next few weeks as the executive shuffle is likely to continue.