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Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara Exits Company Amid Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams appointed as the company’s interim leadership team.

Kevin Tsujihara

Warner Bros. studio chief Kevin Tsujihara stepped down from his role as chairman and CEO on Monday amid a widely-reported investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, and now Deadline reports that Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams have been appointed as the company’s interim leadership team.

The shakeup follows a major reorganization announced earlier this month by parent company WarnerMedia that placed Tsujihara in charge of its newly-formed Global Kids & Young Adults division, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. Joining WB’s Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera libraries, the new division also comprises Otter Media and Turner Classic Movies, as well as all consumer product licensing activities for WarnerMedia properties.

Previously the president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Tsujihara became the first Asian American to run a major Hollywood studio when he was appointed CEO in 2013.

Under the new interim structure, which was announced to employees in a memo written by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey on Tuesday, Warner Bros. Motion Pictures Group chairman Emmerich will focus on theatrical, home entertainment, and games; CCO Roth will coordinate television production and Kids & Young Adults group interests; and Warner Bros. Entertainment CFO Williams will coordinate with all of the other areas, including Otter Media.

Read Stankey’s memo, obtained by Deadline, below:

March 19, 2019
To: WarnerMedia Colleagues
From: John Stankey
Subject: Warner Bros. Leadership Transition
I’ve asked three members of the existing Warner Bros. executive team to lead the organization on an interim basis until a new Chairman and CEO is named. We are doing this to ensure minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of the studio and to provide the time we need to conduct a thorough search to find the best candidate to lead this incredible and storied business to its next chapter of growth and success. Our creative and business partners deserve this. Our company – and you – deserve no less.
The executives who have graciously come together to help me manage this business on an interim basis are: Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group; Peter Roth, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group; and Kim Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
We all recognize that operating day-to-day in this manner will be a little different from the normal course of business, but the four of us agree that we need to remain focused and steer clear of any counterproductive speculation around what this temporary leadership group portends for the future. Toby, Peter and Kim will keep us focused squarely on achieving our goals and staying on track with our ambitious plans for Warner Bros. this year.
I will work closely with the three of them during this period to help make sure issues are quickly addressed and operations continue to progress in the normal course of business. Toby, Peter and Kim will be responsible for bringing forward any matters that require broader deliberation and a more integrated review – those outside of the normal decision-making process within our skillfully led teams in each department.
To help with this and minimize organization disruption Toby, Peter and Kim will coordinate groups of their peers functioning as a team. Toby will handle matters around theatrical, home entertainment and games; Peter will coordinate all television production interests and do the same with the Kids and Young Adults group; and Kim will coordinate with all of the other areas, including Otter Media.
I have committed to moving quickly as we conduct a thorough and thoughtful search for a new Chairman and CEO to lead Warner Bros. This is an organization that has many talented individuals already operating successfully as a team. My priority is to install leadership that sustains the direction and priorities of the organization – not dramatically change course.
It goes without saying that our ability to tap into leaders of the caliber of Toby, Peter and Kim to continue our momentum without missing a beat is a testament to the talent we have across all of our companies. It also underscores the values, team orientation and spirit of collaboration that each of these executives exemplifies, and I thank them all for stepping up and leading by example.
Let’s continue working together to build an environment that informs and inspires audiences everywhere. 

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.