Warner Bros. has appointed Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO and chair, becoming the first woman to head up the studio since it was founded in 1923.
Joining from BBC Studios Americas, Ann will oversee all global operations at Warner Bros. when she officially takes up her post later this summer. Her remit will include oversight on all production, marketing and distribution of film, television and interactive entertainment like video games.
“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,” she says.
John Stankey, CEO of the studios’ parent company WarnerMedia, says he’s “delighted” to soon be working alongside “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,” he adds. “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.”
Prior to her time at BBC, Ann established a strong track record at an array of prominent media and entertainment businesses, from Viacom to the NBA, and Dow Jones.
Ann’s appointment follows the departure of former studio head Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down to avoid becoming a “distraction” amid allegations of misconduct and an investigation into whether he’d helped an actress with whom he was purportedly engaged in a sexual relationship secure auditions.
Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams, the triumvirate who managed Warner Bros. in the intervening months, will continue on in their current roles.