Former Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara Seeks Next Move One Year After Ouster

Insiders say former executive has been “making the rounds” around town

Almost one year after Kevin Tsujihara’s ouster from Warner Bros., multiple insiders tell TheWrap the former studio head is actively seeking a position in Hollywood.

In recent weeks, Tsujihara has sought counsel from a veteran studio head to ask if he is employable in the wake of his ouster, according to a knowledgeable individual. The former chairman and CEO of Warner Entertainment was investigated over having helped an actress with casting opportunities while in a sexual relationship with her.

Tsujihara also recently interviewed for a top position at a leading Hollywood production company, according to a second knowledgeable individual. The interview process did not advance out of concerns that women executives at the company would object.

Reached by TheWrap, Tsujihara acknowledged that he’s been “having conversations” around the entertainment industry but declined to elaborate. He was seen at the industry watering hole the Chateau Marmont in late February having a drink with what appeared to be a colleague. A third insider also said he’s been “making the rounds” with former Warner executives and allies.

A spokesperson for Tsujihara has denied that he’s interviewed for any position.

Insiders say it seems unlikely that Tsujihara will be hired by another major Hollywood studio, especially amid the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, and after Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial (although, it must be said that Tsujihara’s allegations are far from the rape accusations leveled at Weinstein). In addition, there are very few jobs available that would match Tsujihara’s level of expertise. One potential position is the one Emma Watts recently vacated at Disney’s 20th Century Studios division.

However, when misconduct allegations were leveled against former chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation and Pixar John Lasseter, Disney showed the door to one of the founders of Pixar and the creative force behind hits like “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” and “Cars.” Lasseter did land a job with Skydance seven months later, but not without pushback from many employees within the company.

It’s possible that Tsujihara could find opportunities outside the traditional studio and film space. In January, he invested in European basketball league, FIBA through GCBH LP, an investment entity which he leads alongside Brian Bailey, who has held positions in private equity. This allows Tsujihara to keep himself in the game and could potentially open up opportunities to work in film and content financing as opposed to running a studio. One way he could step back into the Hollywood world is by investing in independent projects, the third insider said.

Given the financial backing he has through GCBH LP, he could also start his own production banner, insiders said.

Regardless of what path he pursues, Tsujihara has built up a lot of good will in Hollywood. Before the accusations leveled against him surfaced, he was a well-liked and respected executive. Tsujihara stepped down just as his role as chairman and CEO at the Warner Bros. film arm had been expanded following AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

And some people in Hollywood were confused about his departure given that the accusations did not involve unwelcome sexual advances or behavior.

Last March, Tsujihara and WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey reached a joint decision that his resignation was “in the best interest” of the company. Tsujihara, who had worked for two decades at the studio and served as chairman for the last six years,  denied any wrongdoing connected to his past intimate relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk after The Hollywood Reporter published texts between the two that indicated she sought his help in obtaining acting jobs while. On March 8, he wrote a memo to staff in which he said he deeply regrets mistakes that he’s made in his life.

TheWrap has reached out to Time’s Up for comment.

Beatrice Verhoeven

Beatrice Verhoeven

Senior Film Reporter

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, is the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of TheWrap. She is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, and was a Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times.


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