Why New Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff Could Be Just What Hollywood Needs

“She’s got one of those rare executive brains that understand the content and creatives, as well as the business,” former Nickelodeon president Geraldine Laybourne says

Warner Bros. may have found just what it was looking for in Ann Sarnoff, industry insiders tell TheWrap.

In what came as a surprise to those unfamiliar with Sarnoff, WarnerMedia announced on Monday that it had named Sarnoff as the new head of its film and TV studio — a post left vacant by the exit of former chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara in March.

Sarnoff’s roots may not be firmly planted in Hollywood, but industry insiders are high on her executive experience and believe her background gives her what it will likely take to lead Warner Bros., which at roughly 100 years old is one of the largest and most storied production operations that spans film, TV, digital, gaming and consumer products. 

Sarnoff’s history in transactional business experience, including her work at PayPal and BritBox, seems to be a highlight for industry insiders.

Ross Gerber, CEO of media investment firm Gerber Kawasaki, said that Sarnoff has exactly the kind of experience a CEO of a studio needs in today’s industry, especially as parent company WarnerMedia works to jump into the world of…

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