Apr 7, 2022 - Economy

David Zaslav names new leadership team for Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery

Discovery CEO David Zaslav on Thursday announced the leadership team for Warner Bros. Discovery, the new company that will be formed when Discovery and WarnerMedia officially merge in coming days. Zaslav will be the CEO of the newly-combined company.

Why it matters: The news comes the day after most of WarnerMedia's executive team announced their departures. Zaslav is elevating most of his own team to new roles, although a few key figures from WarnerMedia will stay on, including HBO content chief Casey Bloys and Warner Bros. chair Toby Emmerich.

Here's a full list of the new leadership team:

  • Kathleen Finch, who previously oversaw Discovery's lifestyle brands, will oversee more than 40+ cable networks of the combined company in a newly created role of chairman and chief content officer, US Networks Group. She'll continue to oversee Discovery's lifestyle networks.
  • Jean-Briac "JB" Perrette, who previously served as President & CEO of Discovery Streaming & International, will be CEO and President, Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment, running the company's streaming businesses, including Discovery+ and HBO Max.
  • David Leavy, Zaslav's longtime communications chief, will be chief corporate affairs officer of the combined company, overseeing corporate relations, global government relations and public policy, corporate marketing, global communications, corporate research, events and social responsibility.
  • Chris Licht, a longtime CBS executive and friend of Zaslav's, was chosen to lead CNN Worldwide, succeeding Jeff Zucker, last month.
  • Gunnar Wiedenfels, Discovery's longtime chief financial officer, was previously named chief financial officer of the newly-combined company.
  • Channing Dungey will continue as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group.
  • Casey Bloys will continue as chief content officer of HBO & HBO Max.
  • Toby Emmerich will continue as chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, overseeing Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, DC-based films and Warner Bros. Feature Animation.
  • Adria Alpert-Romm, previously Discovery's chief people and culture officer, will continue to serve as chief people and culture officer of the newly-combined company.
  • Bruce Campbell, previously Discovery's chief development, distribution and legal officer at Discovery, will assume the new role of chief revenue and strategy officer, overseeing US advertising sales, distribution revenue and content licensing; global corporate development and strategy; global streaming platform agreements; and the company’s legal affairs.
  • Lori Locke, previously Discovery's chief accounting officer, will serve as chief accounting officer of the new company, reporting to Wiedenfels.
  • Gerhard Zeiler, formerly the head of international at WarnerMedia, will serve as president of international at the combined company.
  • Savalle Sims, previously Discovery's general counsel, will be general counsel of the new company.

Be smart: Many of these executives have worked alongside Zaslav for many years, including Leavy, who has been with Discovery for more than two decades, and Campbell, who has been with Discovery since 2007. Sims and Perrette have both been with Discovery since 2011.

  • A few names were noticeably absent from the list. Jon Steinlauf, Discovery's chief U.S. advertising sales officer, wasn't named, nor was Avi Saxena, Discovery's chief technology officer for direct-to-consumer.

Between the lines: Several WarnerMedia executives announced their departures Wednesday ahead of the new leadership being named, including CEO Jason Kilar, CFO Jennifer Biry, human resources chief Jim Cummings, HBO Max EVP Andy Forssell, CRO Tony Goncalves, communications chief Christy Haubegger, general counsel Jim Meza, CTO Richard Tom and Chairp and CEO of WarnerMedia's Studios and Networks Group Ann Sarnoff.

What's next: The company will name a new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at a later date.

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