Three top executives depart WarnerMedia as CEO Jason Kilar announces focus on HBO Max
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is reorienting the media company around HBO Max, the new streaming service, and several top executives are leaving as a result of the new structure.
HBO Max general manager Andy Forssell is being promoted to run a “newly created HBO Max operating business unit,” Kilar wrote in an internal memo on Friday.
Kilar and Forssell previously worked together at Hulu, the pioneering streaming service.
“Andy and his team will be responsible for the product, marketing, consumer engagement and global rollout of HBO Max,” Kilar wrote.
WarnerMedia News and Sports, which includes CNN, was not affected by the new leadership structure.
But most other parts of the AT&T-owned company were. Friday’s changes include the creation of a Studios and Networks Group, led by Warner Bros. studio chair Ann Sarnoff.
“This group will oversee all WarnerMedia television series and motion picture development, production and programming, partnering with Andy to ensure HBO Max is successful globally,” Kilar wrote.
Bob Greenblatt, who was chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, is out. So is Kevin Reilly, the president of the TBS and TNT cable channels and the chief content officer of HBO Max.
Kilar said in Friday’s memo that their departures are part of a larger process of “reducing the size of our teams, our layers, and our overall workforce.”
Greenblatt joined the company just last year, and Reilly signed a new four-year contract around the same time. Kilar thanked them for “getting us to this point with the integration of HBO and the legacy Turner Networks and launch of HBO Max. It has been such an impressive sequence of events, and we are so much better for it.”
HBO Max launched in May, combining the existing HBO service with new programming and a library of classic TV shows and movies.
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys is taking on “original content responsibilities for HBO Max and the domestic linear networks TNT, TBS, and TruTV,” Kilar announced. He will report to Sarnoff.
The media company’s chief revenue officer Gerhard Zeiler will oversee international operations. Otter CEO Tony Goncalves will run a new commercial unit.
Christy Haubegger, WarnerMedia’s chief enterprise inclusion officer, “will now also oversee the global marketing and communications team including branding and corporate social responsibility,” Kilar wrote.
Keith Cocozza, the executive vice president of corporate marketing and communications, is among the executives who are leaving.
Kilar did not give any indication of how many other jobs will be cut.