Warner Bros. Discovery Announces Reconfigured Leadership Team Ahead of Merger
One day after WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar confirmed that he would not be continuing with the company following next week’s reported finalization of a merger with Discovery, the leadership team newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery was announced on Thursday.
The new team will feature numerous executives from both WarnerMedia and Discovery who will maintain similar responsibilities as they held in their previous roles, while also taking on new oversight responsibilities at the larger company.
“We are so excited to bring the heritage and legacies of these two great companies together by creating Warner Bros. Discovery,” David Zaslav, the future CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery said, “and I am proud that our new executive management team blends world-class leaders from both organizations as we take our first step toward one single cohesive, collaborative culture. Today’s announcement combines a strong team of professional managers in a simpler organizational structure, with fewer layers, more accountability and a singular strategic focus as a global pure-play content company. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves with this team so that, together, we can write this next exciting chapter.”
In what might have been a reference to Kilar’s controversial decision to release Warner’s 2021 movie slate on HBO Max on the same day that films were released in theaters — which angered many of the filmmakers involved in the projects — Zaslav ended his statement talking about his goals for the new company.
“These accomplished leaders will create a place where creatives, talent and all of our people in every corner of the globe can do their best work and inspire audiences everywhere with the magic, joy and wonder of world-class storytelling, news and sports.”
Future Warner Bros. Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said last month that the companies’ two primary streaming services, HBO Max and discovery+, will be bundled and then eventually merged into a single service. Given that both properties are currently overseen by different executives, Discovery did not confirm how those future plans will be implemented.
There has also been no indication as to how WarnerMedia’s recently launched CNN+ will figure into future streaming plans, but CNN’s Chief Technology Officer Robyn Peterson told The Streamable last month that the company would be very interested in bundling opportunities in the future.
Thursday’s announcement features the addition of two new positions in the combined company: Chair and CEO for Warner Bros. Discovery Sports as well as a new Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. Neither role has been filled, but the company is actively searching for executives to round out the team.
Warner Bros. Discovery New Executive Leadership Team
- Adria Alpert Romm: Chief People and Culture Officer. Held the same role at Discovery, Inc.
- Casey Bloys: Chief Content Officer of HBO & HBO Max. Held the same role at WarnerMedia.
- Bruce Campbell: Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer, with responsibility for US advertising sales, distribution revenue and content licensing; global corporate development and strategy; global streaming platform agreements; and the company’s legal affairs. Previously served as Discovery’s Chief Development, Distribution and Legal Officer.
- Channing Dungey: Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group. Held the same role at WarnerMedia.
- Toby Emmerich: Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, with responsibility for Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-based films, and Warner Bros. Feature Animation. Held the same role at WarnerMedia.
- Kathleen Finch: Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group (a new, consolidated organization comprising the company’s more than 40 US Networks). Finch will retain oversight for the Discovery Lifestyle Networks.
- Nancy Daniels: Chief Content Officer, Discovery Factual Networks.
- Brett Weitz: General Manager, TBS, TNT and truTV.
- Tom Ascheim: President, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics, on the network side of his responsibilities.
- David Leavy: Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, overseeing key business functions and groups, including corporate relations, global government relations, and public policy, corporate marketing, global communications, corporate research, events, and social responsibility.
- Chris Licht: Chairman & CEO of CNN Global as previously announced.
- Lori Locke: Chief Accounting Officer. Held the same role at Discovery, Inc.
- JB Perrette: CEO and President, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, with responsibility for HBO Max and discovery+, as well as all direct-to-consumer and gaming around the world. Previously served as President and CEO, Discovery Streaming and International.
- David Haddad: President Warner Bros. Games.
- Savalle Sims: General Counsel. Held the same role at Discovery, Inc.
- Gunnar Wiedenfels: Chief Financial Officer as previously announced. In addition to overseeing finance, he will have oversight of the Company’s global enterprise technical operations as well as real estate and facilities.
- Gerhard Zeiler: President, International, with responsibility for the Company’s businesses across more than 200+ countries and territories. Held the same role for WarnerMedia and now adds responsibility for Discovery’s significant international footprint.