Kevin Tsujihara is stepping down as Warner Bros. CEO after six years. This comes following reports of sexual misconduct on the part of the media executive, who had a sexual relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk, while promising to help promote her career. Now, just shy of two weeks after this misconduct came to light, it's been decided that Tsujihara will leave his position as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Warner Bros. was recently folded into the larger WarnerMedia as part of the restructuring following the massive AT&T merger with Time Warner. Kevin Tsujihara was given a new title and responsibilities under the new WarnerMedia umbrella and was set to be a huge part of the company moving forward. There is no word currently on who is being eyed to replace him in the long term. John Stankey, the CEO of WarnerMedia, had this to say about Tsujihara's departure in a statement.
"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."
Kevin Tsujihara had apologized for his actions once they were brought to light, referring to them as, "mistakes in my personal life." Following internal conversations, it was decided that it would be best for the 54-year-old executive to leave his post. In an internal memo, Tsujihara had this to say.
"I love this company and the people that make it great. I have been honored to head this organization and work alongside all of its talented employees of the past 25 years. Together we've build 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 distract from all the great work the team is doing."
Under Kevin Tsujihara's leadership, Warner Bros. movie output was something of a mixed bag. The DC movies released under his tenure, to start, failed to capture the same critical acclaim and audience that Marvel had accomplished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also managed to get J.K. Rowling to put together the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which has also proved to be a mixed bag so far. Tsujihara, for his part, will have his place in history as the first executive of Asian descent to lead a major Hollywood studio.
For the time being, it's being reported that Warner Bros. motion pictures group chairman Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. television group president and CCO Peter Roth and one other, currently unnamed executive from the company will share Kevin Tsujihara's workload. They will handle the day to day responsibilities until a permanent replacement is named. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.