WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar Tells Staff He Plans to Stay at Least Through 2021
The executive, whose Warner career seemed imperiled after AT&T spun off the company last week, will reportedly weigh his options next year
Jason Kilar has told WarnerMedia staff that he has no plans to immediately step down and that he'll evaluate his options again next year.
The remarks were reported by WarnerMedia employees who attended a company town hall event Thursday, intended to celebrate the one-year anniversary of streaming service HBO Max.
"My plan and focus is to remain here in my CEO role at WarnerMedia," Kilar reportedly said. "I am not thinking right now about post-merger. There will be time to consider that topic in 2022.
"I believe we have unfinished business, and the work of the next year can and should be extremely fulfilling as the world continues to see what we are capable of doing," Kilar added.
Kilar's ongoing fate fell into question last week, when parent company AT&T agreed to spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery Inc. in a deal valued at $43 billion.
Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav, who architected the deal alongside AT&T CEO John Stankey, will be in charge of the newly combined media conglomerate. The New York Times reported last week that Kilar was in negotiations with AT&T on a severance package.
The Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint, who was seemingly burned when Kilar gave him an interview less than a week before the merger announcement, failing to mention the rather disruptive deal, was the first reported to be tipped off about Thursday's town hall. It's since been confirmed by a number of other pubs.
Kilar, the former Hulu CEO who took the top job at WarnerMedia right before it launched HBO Max a year ago Thursday, has led a brutal restructuring of the media conglomerate. However, HBO Max, which got off to a slow start, has recently captured momentum. Overall domestic HBO subscribers were up nearly 3 million in the first quarter.
NEXT TV NEWSLETTER
The smarter way to stay on top of the streaming and OTT industry. Sign up below.
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!