Warner Bros Hires New CEO

BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff has been named the new chair and CEO of Warner Bros., replacing Kevin Tsujihara, Deadline reports. Sarnoff will officially claim the title and join the company later this summer.

Sarnoff’s hiring comes after Tsujihara stepped down from his post mid-March amid an investigation into an alleged ‘Pay for Play’ sexual relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk, in which Tsujihara attempted to land Kirk roles in Warner Bros. productions. Sarnoff won out over former CBS Television Studios president Nancy Tellem, former co-chair of Disney Media Networks & President of Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney, and former 20th Century Fox Film chairman and CEO Stacey Snider.

According to Deadline’s report, WarnerMedia prized an executive with a digital background ahead of its coming streaming service; Sarnoff is also well-versed in production from her post at BBC Studios Americas.

“I am delighted Ann is joining the WarnerMedia team and excited to work side by side with such a talented and accomplished individual,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said in a statement.

“She brings a consistent and proven track record of innovation, creativity and business results to lead an incredibly successful studio to its next chapter of growth. Ann has shown the ability to innovate and grow revenues and has embraced the evolution taking place in our industry. I am confident she will be a great cultural fit for WarnerMedia and that our employees will embrace her leadership, enthusiasm and passion for our business.”

In addition to overseeing BBC Studios Americas’ business division in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, Sarnoff guided the digital program sales and co-productions, home entertainment and licensing for British production company LA Productions. Sarnoff also led the growth efforts of high-profile BBC Studios brands Doctor Who and Top Gear.

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“It is a privilege to join a studio with such a storied history,” Sarnoff said.

“Warner Bros. has been an industry leader for decades and is known for creating many of the most iconic film, television and gaming properties. I accept this position excited by the opportunity to work with the most accomplished executives and teams in media, and confident about carrying this incredible heritage forward with them.”