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WarnerMedia senior leaders to depart ahead of merger with Discovery, following CEO Jason Kilar announcement

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Jason Kilar holds his mask and talks to someone at Sun Valley
  • WarnerMedia senior leaders are leaving the company ahead of its merger with Discovery.
  • CEO Jason Kilar announced on Tuesday that he would depart after nearly two years.
  • Chief inclusion officer Christy Haubegger and chief technology officer Richard Tom are among those departing.

The top leadership at WarnerMedia will depart the company as it prepares to merge with Discovery.

News of the C-suite team's departure, which was announced on an internal call and then confirmed by the company Wednesday morning, follows Jason Kilar's Tuesday announcement that he was leaving the role of WarnerMedia CEO ahead of the transaction.

Most of Kilar's direct team of direct reports will depart, including WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group CEO Ann Sarnoff and HBO Max General Manager Andy Forssell, who had announced Tuesday that they would be exiting the company. CFO Jennifer Biry had also been expected to leave after Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels was announced as the financial leader for the combined company.

Executives whose departure was announced Wednesday include Christy Haubegger, EVP, communications and chief inclusion officer, Tony Goncalves, EVP, chief revenue officer, Jim Cummings, EVP, chief human resources officer, Jim Meza, EVP, general counsel, and Richard Tom, chief technology officer. 

Some of the departuring executives are expected to remain through a customary transition period. Kilar's last day will be Friday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Warner executives who remain in their roles include Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich, WarnerMedia International President Gerhard Zeiler, and Warner Bros. Games President David Haddad.

The closing of the merger with Discovery is expected in the coming days, possibly as soon as Friday, according to a Variety report. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is expected to install many of his senior deputies into positions overseeing WarnerMedia's businesses, which include the Warner Bros. film and TV studio, premium cable network HBO and news network CNN. 

The $43 billion combining of Discovery and WarnerMedia will put an end to AT&T's short-lived ownership of the storied media brands. The telecom giant agreed to buy the then-named Time Warner in 2016 in a proposed $85.4 billion deal, though the deal was held up by an antitrust lawsuit until 2018.  

Read the original article on Business Insider
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