In a continuation of the corporate reorganization announced last Friday, WarnerMedia began laying off hundreds of employees today diversity Report.
Following the announcement by newly appointed CEO Jason Kilar on Friday (which can be seen in its entirety below) that WarnerMedia Entertainment and directly to Consumer Chairman Bob Greenblatt, Content Chief and TBS, TNT and TruTV President Kevin Reilly and Executive Vice President for Corporate Marketing and Communication Keith Cocozza left the company. Today we meet Jeffrey Schlesinger, President of Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, Ron Sanders, President of Warner Bros. & # 39; Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Home Entertainment and Executive Vice President, International Business Operations, and Kim Williams, EVP and Chief Financial Warner Bros. Entertainment officers are also leaving.
Additionally, around 650 Warner Bros. employees are being laid off today, with between 150 and 175 HBO being laid off.
Kilar's memo also broke down numerous corporate restructuring efforts and new executive appointments to streamline the organization and bring more focus to the company's new streaming platform, HBO Max. Andy Forssell, general manager of HBO Max, was held responsible for the new business unit of HBO Max and reported to Kilar. Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Ann Sarnoff will now lead the newly created Studios and Networks Group, which will be responsible for developing content for the new streaming service as well as the company's major entertainment-focused basic cable networks: TNT, TBS and truTV. HBO Programming President Casey Bloys will now report to Sarnoff.
The Warner Bros. Motion Pictures Group will continue to be led by Chairman Toby Emmerich. The Warner Bros. Television Studios group will continue to be led by Chairman Peter Roth. Warner Bros. Interactive remains part of the Studios and Networks group, along with our team for global brands and franchises, including DC led by Pam Lifford, and our kids, young adult and classics store led by Tom Ascheim, all of which focus on getting fans excited about our brands and franchises through games and other interactive experiences.
Kilar's full memo is as follows:
It's been a little over 90 days since I joined the mission and team. These last three months have exceeded my already high expectations. As I recently shared with you, my optimistic attitude towards our future has only grown because I got to know you much better and got to know our company much better. As some of you may remember, I shared three thoughts with you in my email on the first day:
- This story was filled with examples of particular entrepreneurial companies that leaned on in moments of big change to better serve customers.
- The fact that we take smart and courageous risks is so important for the future. And,
- My belief that mission companies shine after all … and my firm belief that ours is a team of missionaries.
With that in mind, I would like to share a few decisions that I am announcing today that represent our inclination to this great moment of change, to better serve our customers. These changes, which are neither shy nor risk-free, are possible in part because we are missionaries who ultimately believe that we can and will change the world through history. It all comes back to that.
Because of the gift that the internet is, I believe we have one of the greatest opportunities in media history to deliver our beloved stories and experiences directly to hundreds of millions of consumers around the world. Earning this ambitious future won't be easy. In order to achieve this, I believe it is important that we change our organization, simplify it and act boldly and urgently. The economic pressures of the pandemic and the acceleration in the rollout of streaming streams direct to consumers give these points an even higher premium.
To do this we will do the following:
- We are increasing HBO Max in the organization and expanding its scope worldwide.
- We simplify the organization of our studios.
- We are creating a consolidated international entity focused on size and efficiency.
- We are bundling our most important commercial activities in one group so that we can act more strategically.
- We are making other structural changes that will help us work more effectively and efficiently.
Andy Forssell, general manager of HBO Max, will now lead a newly created division of HBO Max and report to me. Andy and his team will be responsible for the product, marketing, customer engagement and global rollout of HBO Max.
Ann Sarnoff, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., will lead our newly created Studios and Networks Group, combining original production (content studios) and programming functions currently distributed across Warner Bros., HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS and TruTV are. This group will oversee all WarnerMedia television series, film development, production and programming, and will work with Andy to ensure HBO Max is successful worldwide.
- Casey Bloys, President of HBO Programming, will also assume the original content responsibilities for HBO Max and the domestic linear networks TNT, TBS and TruTV. Casey will report back to Ann. Casey and the HBO team have done an incredible job over the past few decades, delighting consumers with original HBO programming. I'm excited that Casey and this expanded team are making an even bigger impact on the world.
- The Warner Bros. Motion Pictures Group will continue to be led by Chairman Toby Emmerich. The Warner Bros. Television Studios group will continue to be led by Chairman Peter Roth. Warner Bros. Interactive remains part of the Studios and Networks group, along with our team for global brands and franchises, including DC led by Pam Lifford, and our kids, young adult and classics store led by Tom Ascheim, all of which focus on getting fans excited about our brands and franchises through games and other interactive experiences.
Gerhard Zeiler, currently Chief Revenue Officer, will now lead a newly integrated international group made up of the international activities of Warner Bros., HBO and Turner Networks. This group will be responsible for the local execution of all WarnerMedia linear stores, commercial activities and regional programs for HBO Max.
Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter and a key executive at HBO Max, will lead the new business unit that combines the sales and distribution groups for US advertising with our license for home entertainment and content, making all commercial activities strategic for both internal and external Customers are managed.
Christy Haubegger, Chief Enterprise Inclusion Officer, will now oversee the global marketing and communications team, including branding and corporate social responsibility, as we all merge our efforts for equity and inclusion across our business.
Jeff Zucker continues to serve as Chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports. Pascal Desroches (CFO), Rich Tom (CTO), Jim Cummings (CHRO), Priya Dogra (EVP, Strategy and Corporate Development) and Jim Meza (EVP, General Counsel) continue to report to me.
For example, simplifying our approach and narrowing our focus goes beyond one content organization versus two. It also means that we will reduce the size of our teams, our shifts and our entire workforce. These cuts in no way reflect the quality of those affected or their work. It is simply a function of the changes above that I believe are necessary for WarnerMedia and our collective ability to best serve customers. This is the part that is painful and very difficult. It's difficult to find the right words here to say anything else. I am very sorry. These are talented, admired leaders and beloved colleagues.
Three of these talented, admired executives who will leave the company are Bob Greenblatt, Kevin Reilly, and Keith Cocozza. I'd like to thank Bob and Kevin for getting us to this point with the integration of HBO and the old Turner Networks and the launch of HBO Max. It's been an impressive series of events, and we're much better at it. I am also very grateful and grateful to Keith for not only helping me to find my way around the company – and with the media – over the past few months, but especially for his 19 years with the company during its development. I've never met a friendlier, more collaborative manager in my career. I can't wait to see each of these leaders change the world in the years to come.
I realize there is a lot to consider. And neither of us should expect the changes above to be easy. This means that we are successfully managing a pandemic together and I know that no matter how difficult the changes mentioned above may be, we will also manage them successfully. As each of you takes some time to digest the above, I hope that you become more and more excited about how we together boldly lean into the future and this historic opportunity that lies right ahead. It is an honor to be on this team with each of you.
Dan Sarto is the editor and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.