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Sidelined: WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar Makes Exit Plans

Bessie LiuNews
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WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is negotiating his departure. Image Source: Shutterstock.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is negotiating his departure after being kept in the dark about AT&T and Discovery’s merger. David Zaslav, Discovery’s Chief Executive and an experienced leader in the entertainment business, will replace Kilar as WarnerMedia’s new CEO.

It is alleged that Zaslav, Discovery’s chairman John Malone, and AT&T’s CEO John Stankey, had privately met for months to discuss the direction of WarnerMedia. Kilar was not aware of these discussions until decisions had been made.

“David’s got a lot of decisions to make on personnel and how things are structured moving forward during this transition period,” Zaslav said on a call with The Verge.

Kilar is a graduate of Harvard Business School and has spent almost a decade at Amazon, where he was elevated to SVP after helping grow the company’s video and DVD business. He has strong ties to Jeff Bezos and is believed to have a similar approach to managing a business as the Amazon CEO.

The Hulu and Vessel co-founder was appointed CEO of WarnerMedia in April 2020, a month before the launch of HBO Max. It is reported that soon after Kilar joined, he orchestrated a major reorganization at the company, expelling two senior television programmers and ruffled feathers of A-listers in the industry.

Now, as WarnerMedia falls back into the hands of Zaslav, a more traditional media executive,, it is expected that strategies in the company will begin to shift.

“He’s been an innovator, but he knows how to do it within the confines of the existing system,” Richard Gelfond, Chief Executive of Imax said to the New York Times.

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