Bill Nelson (pictured, left) is stepping down as CEO of U.S. network HBO at the end of this year, to be replaced by Richard Plepler (right).
Under the new management structure, Eric Kessler will serve as president and chief operating officer and Michael Lombardo will serve as president of programming, with both reporting to Plepler, who is upped from co-president to CEO.
“Bill and I have worked together for many, many years and though I’m sad to see him leave, I respect his decision to enjoy retirement,” said Jeff Bewkes, chairman and CEO of HBO’s parent company Time Warner.
“He is a world-class CEO and leaves the company well-positioned for the future. The company will not miss a step with the new team, which has the combination of talent and experience to drive HBO to new heights of creative excellence, innovation, and financial performance.
“Richard and Eric are 20-plus-year veterans of the company who, as co-presidents, helped HBO re-establish its pre-eminence over the past five years, and Mike Lombardo has done an exceptional job in developing the best slate in HBO’s history.”
Nelson added: “With my elevation to CEO more than five years ago, we set an ambitious agenda for HBO, and I’m proud to say that I feel the company has never been in better shape financially or creatively.
“I feel very comfortable in taking this step now because I know HBO will continue in its tradition of innovation and acclaimed programming and retain its superior position in our industry in the hands of Richard, Eric, Mike and the entire team.”