Read Kevin Tsujihara’s Memo to Staff: ‘Became Clear My Leadership Could Be a Distraction’

Tsujihara stepped down from Warner Bros. Monday

Last Updated: March 18, 2019 @ 1:42 PM

Following Kevin Tsujihara’s exit as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, he sent a memo to staff explaining the decision, adding that it became “clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction.”

“Over the past week and a half, I have been reflecting on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future,” Tsujihara wrote. “After lengthy introspection, and discussions with John Stankey over the past week, we have decided that it is in Warner Bros.’ best interest that I step down as Chairman and CEO.”

WarnerMedia announced on Monday that Tsujihara is stepping down as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment amid an ongoing investigation into Tsujihara’s past relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk.

Tsujihara, who has worked for two decades at the studio and served as chairman for the last six years, has denied any wrongdoing connected to his past intimate relationship with Kirk. On March 8, after The Hollywood Reporter published texts between the two that indicated she sought his help in obtaining acting jobs, he wrote a memo to staff in which he said he deeply regrets mistakes that he’s made in his life.

In a memo sent to staff, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey wrote: “It was a decision made with the best, long-term interests of the Company, our employees and our partners in mind. Kevin has acknowledged that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward.”

Before his promotion to CEO and chairman in 2013, Tsujihara served as president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. He became the first Asian American to run a major Hollywood studio.

Read below for Tsujihara’s full memo.

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week and a half, I have been reflecting on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future. After lengthy introspection, and discussions with John Stankey over the past week, we have decided that it is in Warner Bros.’ best interest that I step down as Chairman and CEO.

I love this company and the people that make it so great. I’ve been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees over the past 25 years. Together we’ve built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry. 

However, it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing. 

I am overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and industry partners during this difficult time.

Again, I am so proud of the great work that you do every day to make Warner Bros. the gold standard in our industry. It has been a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you, and I wish you all the absolute best.