People/Biz

BBC Studios executive Ann Sarnoff to lead Warner Bros.

BBC Studios Americas chief Ann Sarnoff has been tapped as the new chair and CEO of entertainment company Warner Bros. In the new role, Sarnoff will be responsible for overseeing worldwide operations ...
June 24, 2019

BBC Studios Americas chief Ann Sarnoff has been tapped as the new chair and CEO of entertainment company Warner Bros.

In the new role, Sarnoff will be responsible for overseeing worldwide operations at Warner Bros., including the production, marketing and distribution of film, television and interactive entertainment content.

Based in Los Angeles, Sarnoff will join the company later this summer and reports into WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.

Sarnoff is currently president of BBC Studios Americas and brings more than 30 years of business and media experience, having previously held executive roles at Dow Jones, the National Basketball Association and Viacom.

As president of BBC Studios Americas, Sarnoff has been responsible for driving growth and profit across the company’s diversified business division in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. She oversaw Los Angeles productions, linear and digital program sales and copros, home entertainment and licensing.

In addition to production experience at BBC Studios Americas, Sarnoff also has digital background, Sarnoff has served as board chair of BritBox where she has overseen the development and growth of the direct-to-consumer service.

Sarnoff’s appointment comes months after Kevin Tsujihara stepped down as head of the global studio in the wake of an investigation into misconduct and allegations of an extramarital affair with British actress Charlotte Kirk, one of the studio’s actresses.

During the leadership transition period, Warner Bros. was managed by an interim team of leaders made up of Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group; Peter Roth, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Television Group; and Kim Williams, EVP & CFO of Warner Bros.

“Ann 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,” said Stankey in a statement. “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.”

“Ann’s contribution to BBC Studios has been immense,” added BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie. “She has grown our core business as well as driving significant innovation, including the successful creation of BritBox, the growth of BBC America alongside our partner AMCN, the launch of new channels like BBC Earth in Canada, and major new content and production deals. We will miss her generosity and her spirit of collaboration, and we wish her great success at Warner Bros.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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