WarnerMedia names Jason Kilar new CEO
AT&T’s TV and film entertainment division, WarnerMedia, has tapped an executive with streaming experience to be its new chief as readies its launch of HBO Max next month.
Jason Kilar, 48, was previously the founding CEO of Hulu and a senior vice president at Amazon. He will report to John Stankey, AT&T’s president and chief operating officer, when he takes office on May 1.
Stankey, who held the role of WarnerMedia CEO in addition to the COO job at the firm’s corporate parent, had become a lightning rod figure within the entertainment unit, which operates HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN and Tuner Classic Movies, after AT&T acquired it through Time Warner and renamed it WarnerMedia in 2018.
Although he was instrumental in developing the company’s streaming service to compete with Netflix and Amazon, some WarnerMedia execs complained that Stankey — a longtime AT&T veteran — lacked entertainment experience.
As The Post has previously reported, Stankey’s management style also clashed with some people in the entertainment division, and he was blamed for popular defections, including former HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, who left last February.
Kilar, by contrast, is a known entity in Hollywood. He was CEO of Hulu from its start in 2007 until 2013. He served in several leadership positions at Amazon from 1997 to 2006, and was co-founder and CEO of video streaming service Vessel from 2013 to 2017. He also served as a board member at DreamWorks Animation from 2013 to 2016, and Univision Communications from 2016 to 2020.
“Adding Jason to the talented WarnerMedia family as we launch HBO Max in May gives us the right management team to strategically position our leading portfolio of brands, world-class talent and rich library of intellectual property for future growth,” Stankey said Wednesday.
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