WarnerMedia CEO Jason Killer leaves – The Hollywood Reporter

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Killer will step down when AT&T Entertainment’s merger with Discovery ends.

“As the pending transaction with Discovery approaches, this is the perfect time to share with each and every one of you that I am leaving this wonderful company,” Killer wrote in an internal note to staff on Tuesday. “One can have many feelings at a moment like this, but for me there is nothing greater or lasting than the feelings of gratitude and love I have for this team, this company and this work. Professionally I have never been fulfilled. Professionally I have never been happier.

The executive added: “This team – and we built it together – are the reasons why we are leading the industry creatively. We have elevated technology, product and design to the highest level in the company. , Doing so with confidence is very pleasing.

Megadeth is expected to close in the current second quarter, within a few days.

Killer was appointed head of AT&T’s Warnermedia division a few months into the epidemic era in April 2020, and began his role in May with the launch of streaming platform HBO Max.

Former Hulu CEO and former Amazon executive reported to AT&T CEO John Stanky, who oversees the extensive media portfolio that includes the news network CNN, Film Studio Warner Bros. and HBO.

In December of that year, as the most controversial move of his tenure, Killer oversaw the so-called “popcorn project,” which was passed on to all Warner Bros. Those titles hit theaters the same day the 2021 movie went live to HBO Max. The one-year trial received an immediate setback from filmmaking partners and top talent, but HBO and HBO Max together ended up in 2021 with 73.8 million global subscribers.

When Discovery CEO David Jaslow moved to Los Angeles, he stressed that he planned to play a role after the merger, leading many viewers to conclude that the former CEO of the former AT&T entertainment business was not possible.

In May 2021, when AT&T disconnected from WarnerMedia and announced plans to merge with Zaslav-led Discovery, a joint venture, Kilar’s future was in question. In the past, some have suggested that Killar may have taken on a technology-centric role, but he commented on his future in late May 2021, following reports that he had been kept in the dark on the Discovery link.

“My plan and my focus is to continue as CEO at WarnerMedia,” Killer said at the time, an employee attending a Town Hall meeting. “I’m not thinking about post-merger right now. 2022 will be a time to consider that topic.

After he left Hulu, he co-founded and served as CEO of streaming video startup Vesel, which sought to bring a window strategy to compress digital video by providing early access to the best YouTube content. However, the service struggled to catch customers accustomed to getting that programming for free, and he sold its technology to Verizon in 2016. He has also worked on the DreamWorks animation and Univision boards during his career.

Below is Clare’s full April 5 employee memo:

With the pending transaction with Discovery approaching, now is the perfect time to share with each and every one of you that I am leaving this wonderful company.

One can have many feelings in a moment like this, but for me there is nothing greater or lasting than the feelings of gratitude and love I have for this team, this company and this work. Professionally I have never met. Professionally I have never been happier. This group – and the one we built together – are the reasons for that. We are leading the industry creatively. We have elevated technology, product and design to the highest level in the company. We work as a team and proudly and successfully go directly to customers around the world. Leaning into the future with each of you and doing so with confidence is a great pleasure.

The pleasures were numerous, especially the conversations I had with several WarnerMedia team members, in the upstairs area of ​​Burbank, through the highline at Hudson Yards, but I was deeply immersed in the things at hand. And around the Techwood and CNN hub, within our archives, throughout the extensive location in Livesten, in our Game Studio locations or in many of the places where this team transforms the world. Obviously, when Jason invites you for a walk and talk, don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes!

For those of you who know me well (or follow me on Twitter), it is no surprise that I adore our history and the trail we have as a company around the world. I have done everything I can to visit and get to know as many of you as possible and to photograph my love for this group and this company via social media. So, when my wife Jamie and I were wondering what we could do on our own to adequately express our appreciation to each of you, we came up with the idea of ​​creating a series of artwork with some photos I took. Celebrate this team and WarnerMedia. We invite each and every one of you to visit this website and select the echo image from Warner Bros. Water Tower, Hudson Yards’ Gliding Towers, Virtual Product Stage in Livingston and more. An artwork with that image (a note from me on the back) will be sent to you in the coming weeks. It is our hope that this monument will bring a smile and remind you of the significant contribution we have made to the 99-year tradition of this extraordinary company.

It has been the pride of my life to lead this team. My heart is so full and I am so grateful to each and every one of you. There is no better team on this planet, and I will enjoy every last step while wandering around Burbank several more times this week, with this team always on my mind.

Jason

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