People/Biz

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar to leave post after Discovery merger

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has confirmed via an internal email that he will leave his post once the company’s merger with Discovery Inc. closes. “With the pending transaction with Discovery nearing close, now ...
April 5, 2022

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar has confirmed via an internal email that he will leave his post once the company’s merger with Discovery Inc. closes.

“With the pending transaction with Discovery nearing close, now is the right time to share with each of you that I will be departing this amazing company,” Kilar (pictured) wrote in the email to WarnerMedia staff.

“There are many feelings one could have in a moment like this, but for me there are none bigger, or more lasting, than the feelings of gratitude and love that I have for this team, this company and this mission,” he added. “I’ve never been more fulfilled professionally. I’ve never been happier professionally. This team — and what we’ve built together — are the reasons for that. We’re leading the industry creatively. We’ve elevated technology, product, and design to the highest levels in the company. We’re operating as one team, proudly and successfully going direct to consumers across the globe. It has been deeply gratifying to lean into the future alongside each of you and to do so with conviction.”

Following the announcement of the merger last spring, many in the entertainment industry speculated about what Kilar’s role would be, with Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav named as the topper for what will be known as Warner Bros. Discovery. In May, Kilar told staff he intended on staying into 2022, and would then make a decision.

“My plan and my focus is to remain here in my CEO role at WarnerMedia. I am not thinking right now about post-merger. There will be a time to consider that topic in 2022,” Kilar said at that time.

Kilar was named WarnerMedia CEO in April of 2020, with oversight of Warner Bros., HBO, Turner, Otter Media and HBO Max. Previous to that role, Kilar was co-founder and CEO of streaming service Vessel and served as CEO of Hulu from its launch in 2007 until 2013.

With the massive WarnerMedia–Discovery deal expected to close around the end of Q2 — perhaps as soon as next week — Kilar’s exit, while expected, puts to rest one of the questions surrounding the upper corporate structure of Warner Bros. Discovery. More answers are sure to follow in the weeks ahead.

“Leading this team has been the honor of my lifetime,” Kilar wrote. “My heart is so full, and I am beyond thankful to each of you. There is no better team on the planet, and I will savor every last step as I wander the lot in Burbank several more times this week, with this team on my mind, always.”

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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