Jason Press, the chief architect behind the HBO Max technology stack, has left newly merged parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, the conglomerate confirmed.
"So long for now, an extraordinary experience," wrote Press on LinkedIn Wednesday, in a post referencing Sunday's boffo debut of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon on HBO.
"With this milestone I’m reflecting on an extraordinary three-year journey leading the HBO Max technology team and the career-defining milestones we have delivered together, from the 2020 HBO Max launch during the first months of the pandemic, to subsequent global expansion across 61 countries and engaging nearly 80 million customers, launching an ad-supported version of HBO Max - giving customers more choice, and offering live football and HBO linear experiences on the platform. Wow," Press added.
Tech media journalist Matthew Keys appears to have been the first to notice Press' departure posting.
HBO communications didn't have a statement for Next TV, but did confirm Press' exit.
Notably, the departure wasn't even a state secret. In May, Press' exit was mentioned -- and somewhat buried -- in a handful of reports outlining the restructuring undertaken by WBD streaming chief JP Perrette.
Serving under the title of executive VP of direct-to-consumer technology and program management, Press' exit comes as WBD enters into the process of merging HBO Max and Discovery.
During the company's Q2 earnings call earlier this month, CEO David Zaslav said top-level WBD management was still deciding which tech stack would be used to underpin the combined streaming service. Press' ankling is pretty good indicator as to what direction that choice is headed.
A former Comcast engineer, Press joined the erstwhile WarnerMedia in 2019. Notably, he was the key liaison to Warner's purchase of Ottawa-based video technology company You.i TV.
Under Press and You.i TV team last year, Warner embarked on an ambitious reinvention of the HBO Now app technology backbone, recreating the floundering app across device platforms into a more stable version that didn't crash nearly as much.
Like many other HBO Max executives in recent months, WBD management appears to have rewarded Press' efforts by showing him the door.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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