Bob Greenblatt, Kevin Reilly Exit WarnerMedia Amid Massive Reorganization

Andy Forssell to head up new HBO Max unit, WB chief Ann Sarnoff leads studios and networks group

Last Updated: August 7, 2020 @ 2:48 PM

Kevin Reilly and Bob Greenblatt are both out at WarnerMedia amid a large-scale reorganization under new CEO Jason Kilar.

The reorganization breaks down the traditional walls of the studio, television and premium cable and brings all content creation into one operation, while at the same time creating a separate focus on HBO Max. The move puts HBO Max at the forefront of WarnerMedia’s future, while at the same time, brings efficiencies to the rest of content creation, including blockbuster movie franchises.

As part of the new structure, Andy Forssell will lead a newly-created HBO Max operating business unit that will be responsible for the global rollout of the subscription video on demand streaming service. Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff will head up a unified studios and networks group, which will combine all content development under one wing. As part of this, HBO programming president Casey Bloys will expand his oversight to include original content for HBO Max and Turner networks TNT, TBS and truTV. Bloys will now report directly to Sarnoff.

The changes are radical rethinking of how a legacy media business operates amid an ecosystem that is increasingly dominated by streaming. WarnerMedia’s changes mirror NBCUniversal’s own makeover on Thursday, which aligned the NBC broadcast network with its cable channels, while at the same putting all content development under one unit. Like WarnerMedia, NBCU also carved out a separate direct-to-consumer unit. Kilar took over as CEO of WarnerMedia in May from John Stankey, who took over as CEO of WarnerMedia’s parent company, AT&T in July.

Toby Emmerich will continue to lead the Warner Bros. Motion Pictures Group, while Peter Roth will remain in charge of the Warner Bros. Television Studios Group. Warner Bros. Interactive remains part of the Studios and Networks group, along with Global Brands and Franchises team, including DC led by Pam Lifford, and Kids, Young Adults and Classics business led by Tom Ascheim.

Along with Greenblatt and Reilly, longtime communications executive Keith Cocozza will also leave the company.

“I want to thank Bob and Kevin 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,” Kilar said. “I also owe a tremendous amount of gratitude and thanks to Keith, for not only helping me navigate these last few months at the company – and with the media – but more importantly for his 19 years at the company through its evolution. I have never met a kinder, more collaborative executive in my career. I can’t wait to see how each of these leaders change the world in the years to come.”

As part of the reorganization, Kilar said they will be “reducing the size” of their overall workforce. 

Here are more of the changes under Kilar:

  • Gerhard Zeiler, currently Chief Revenue Officer, will now be leading a newly integrated international group comprised of the international operations of Warner Bros., HBO and Turner Networks. This group will be responsible for local execution of all WarnerMedia linear businesses, commercial activities, and regional programming for HBO Max.
  • Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter and a key leader of HBO Max, will lead the new commercial unit that combines the U.S. advertising sales and distribution groups with home entertainment and content licensing so that all commercial activities are strategically managed across internal and external customers. 
  • Christy Haubegger, Chief Enterprise Inclusion Officer, will now also oversee the global marketing and communications team including branding and corporate social responsibility, which brings together all efforts around equity and inclusion throughout the business. 
  • Jeff Zucker continues 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 Kilar.