Warner Bros. Chairman And CEO Kevin Tsujihara Resigns
Today (18th March), Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) – Kevin Tsujihara announced that he’s stepping down and leaving the movie studio. Kevin has worked for Warner Bros for 25 years, and since 2013, he was in charge of the studio. He had a promising future at Warner Bros. because of a newly expanded job role, with popular brands such as Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM and Crunchyroll added to his supervisory responsibilities after the announcement of the reformation of WarnerMedia only two weeks ago. Kevin Tsujihara was also the first person of East Asian descent to run a Hollywood studio.
In a Hollywood Reporter article from 6th March, it was emerged that text messages were exchanged between Kevin and actress Charlotte Kirk, according to the texts, Kevin attempted to get movie auditions for Charlotte in exchange of a sexual relationship. Charlotte Kirk has appeared in two Warner Bros. films: 2016’s How to Be Single and 2018’s Ocean’s 8. Kevin’s personal attorney claimed that Kevin had no direct involvement in hiring Charlotte Kirk. The allegations are overshadowing of what could be an exciting time at Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia as a whole.
Before resigning, Kevin left an internal memo for his colleagues at Warner Bros., the memo reads as follows:
Over the past week and a half, I have been reflecting on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future. After lengthy introspection, and discussions with John Stankey over the past week, we have decided that it is in Warner Bros.’ best interest that I step down as Chairman and CEO.
I love this company and the people that make it so great. I’ve been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees over the past 25 years. Together we’ve built this studio into an unequivocal leader in the industry.
However, it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.
I am overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from colleagues and industry partners during this difficult time.
Again, I am so proud of the great work that you do every day to make Warner Bros. the gold standard in our industry. It has been a pleasure to work alongside each and every one of you, and I wish you all the absolute best.
Kevin’s boss, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey also made a statement regarding his departure:
“It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him. Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward.”
John Stankey and WarnerMedia’s board of directors has yet to announce who will replace Kevin Tsujihara as Warner Bros. new CEO. This is an unusual time at the company, after seeing the announced departure of the CEOs of Turner (David Levy), HBO (Richard Plepler) and Warner Bros. (Kevin Tsujihara) within the space of a fortnight. An interim Warner Bros. leadership team will be announced tomorrow (19th March).
What does Kevin Tsujihara’s resignation mean for Cartoon Network?
The resignation of Kevin Tsujihara shouldn’t directly affect Cartoon Network’s operations, as Turner remains to be a going concern as the restructuring process can be a lengthy and difficult process and WarnerMedia’s future plans were only announced two weeks ago. Christina Miller remains to be President and General Manager of Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim.