In a sudden restructuring at one of Hollywood’s biggest companies, three top executives have left WarnerMedia, the AT&T division that houses HBO and the streaming service HBO Max, the company announced on Friday.
Robert Greenblatt, the chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, is out after little more than a year on the job. Kevin Reilly, WarnerMedia’s chief content officer, is also departing, as is Keith Cocozza, the executive vice president of marketing and communications.
The surprise moves came on the watch of the WarnerMedia chief executive, Jason Kilar, who has apparently wasted little time reorganizing the company he joined May 1.
Mr. Kilar, 48, who came to WarnerMedia after a stint at Amazon, is best known as the founding chief executive of Hulu. He was appointed to his new job by John Stankey, a veteran AT&T executive who ran WarnerMedia from June 2018 until May 1. Mr. Stankey became the chief executive of AT&T on July 1, replacing Randall L. Stephenson, who has stayed at the company as executive chairman.
Mr. Stankey spoke highly of Mr. Kilar when he hired him in April. “It was always in the back of my mind that if there were ever a way to get him to work at AT&T in the right way, I’d jump at it,” he said at the time.
Now Mr. Kilar is apparently putting his stamp on the company, which unveiled a major streaming platform, HBOMax, on May 27.
The sudden changes in WarnerMedia’s executive wing have broken apart the team Mr. Stankey assembled last year, when he was running the entertainment division after a three-decade career spent mostly in telecommunications.
In a resignation that got the attention of media insiders in New York and Los Angeles, Richard Plepler, the longtime head of HBO who led the network to 160 Emmys, left the company in February 2019. Mr. Stankey effectively replaced him with Mr. Greenblatt, who named Mr. Reilly, the onetime leader of the cable channels TNT and TBS, as WarnerMedia’s head of content.
In a memo to WarnerMedia employees that was reviewed by The New York Times, Mr. Kilar wrote, “Because of the gift that is the internet, we have what I believe is one of the greatest opportunities in the history of media, which is to deliver our beloved stories and experiences directly to hundreds of millions of consumers across the globe.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.