Warner Bros. has found its new CEO in Ann Sarnoff. She becomes the first female CEO in the company's long, storied, nearly 100-year history. This is a pick that comes as a surprise, but a welcome one, for a variety of reasons. Not just become Sarnoff is breaking new ground. She was under the radar as the search for Kevin Tsujihara's replacement had been going on. Be that as it may, she seems highly qualified for the job.
Ann Sarnoff has been serving as president of BBC Studios Americas prior to her new appointment by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey. WarnerMedia, the conglomerate formed after the AT&T merger with Warner Bros. last year, serves as the studio's parent company. Sarnoff previously served as president of Dow Jones Ventures, in addition to spending time as COO of the WNBA. Sarnoff's earlier career was spent serving as COO of VH1 and CMT during her time at Viacom. She's had a great deal of varied experience. Sarnoff had this to say about her new job in a statement.
"It is a privilege to join a studio with such a storied history. Warner Bros. has been an industry leader for decades and is known for creating many of the most iconic film, television and gaming properties. I accept this position excited by the opportunity to work with the most accomplished executives and teams in media, and confident about carrying this incredible heritage forward with them."
As CEO of WarnerBros., Ann Sarnoff will be managing one of the biggest studios in Hollywood. In addition to the movie and TV studios she will be overseeing, WarnerMedia is also getting ready to launch their own streaming service, which Sarnoff will be largely responsible for, in terms of content. Warner Bros. is also home to massive franchises, such as the DC universe, Harry Potter, the MonsterVerse and The Conjuring universe, amongst others. WarnerMedia had also been under scrutiny, given their lack of female leadership at the executive level. John Stankey had this to say in a statement.
"I am delighted Ann is joining the WarnerMedia team and excited to work side by side with such a talented and accomplished individual. She 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," Stankey said Monday 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."
Former Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara was subject to a sexual misconduct scandal in March. Tsujihara had a sexual relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk and used his position to influence her career. As a result, Tsujihara stepped down and WarnerMedia, along with all of the other complications that come with a massive merger, has been trying to find an appropriate replacement. They have one now. Ann Sarnoff will be based in Los Angeles and is expected to take over her new role this summer. This news was first reported by Variety.