Warner Bros Discovery top boss announces new leadership team

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FILE PHOTO: AT&T logo is seen on a smartphone in front of displayed Discovery and Warner Media logos in this illustration

By Dawn Chmielewski

(Reuters) – Discovery Inc announced on Thursday the executive team to lead the soon to be formed Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), leaning heavily on a trusted group of lieutenants, many of whom have worked with its chief executive since his days at NBC.

The $43 billion merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia is expected to close as soon as Friday. The newly formed company will be led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

Discovery’s chief financial officer, Gunnar Wiedenfels, will oversee finance at the new company. Jean-Briac Perrette, Discovery’s chief executive of streaming and international, will be the new president of Warner Bros Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, with responsibility for HBO Max and Discovery+. Bruce Campbell, Discovery’s chief development officer, will assume the role of chief revenue and strategy officer.

Campbell and Perrette played pivotal roles in launching Hulu, the streaming service started in a joint venture of NBC and the former News Corp. These senior Discovery executives helped execute its $18 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks in 2018, which added Food Network and HGTV to Discovery’s cable portfolio.

The future chief executive of Warner Bros Discovery retained three key WarnerMedia creative executives, Casey Bloys, who continues as chief content officer of HBO/HBO Max, Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros Picture Group, and Channing Dungey, chairman of Warner Bros Television Group. They are expected to report directly to Zaslav, reflecting the executive’s preference for a flat management structure.

“Today’s announcement combines a strong team of professional managers in a simpler organizational structure, with fewer layers,” Zaslav said in a statement.

Nine high-level WarnerMedia senior executives, including Chief Executive Jason Kilar and Studios and Network chief Ann Sarnoff, announced their exits ahead of the formation of the combined company.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Dawn Chmielewski; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Andrea Ricci)


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