At Warner Bros., new CEO’s first task is to bring peace to studio – Los Angeles Times


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At Warner Bros., new CEO’s first task is to bring peace to studio – Los Angeles Times

  1. 1. At Warner Bros., new CEO’s first task is to bring peace tostudio – Los Angeles TimesIn taking the reins of Warner Bros., one of Kevin Tsujihara’s first tasks will be returning calm toa studio that has been racked by divisions and infighting.Although Warner was Hollywood’s No. 1 supplier of television shows, No. 1 in the home videomarket and No. 2 at the box office last year, the rivalry between Tsujihara and two otherexecutives for the top job created tensions on the studio’s Burbank lot and uncertainty amongits partners throughout the entertainment industry.On Monday, as word spread that Tsujihara had been named chief executive, many in Hollywoodimmediately began asking what his appointment would mean for the two rivals: TelevisionGroup President Bruce Rosenblum and Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov.PHOTOS: Billion-dollar filmsExperts said that lingering resentments are an unavoidable outcome of the public two-yearcompetition that Jeff Bewkes, CEO of parent company Time Warner Inc., held for the studio’stop spot.“One of the reasons a lot of people don’t recommend this process is you end up winning withone executive and losing with the others,” said Edward Lawler, a professor at USC’s MarshallSchool of Business. “You can try to keep the people who lose out by changing their titles orgiving them more money, but it’s not easy to retain them.”Tsujihara said in an interview that he hoped both Rosenblum and Robinov would stay withWarner and expressed an openness to reshaping the studio in a way that could give both moreresponsibility.“I think that over the coming weeks we’re going to continue conversations about defining theirroles and defining the organization in a way that makes sense for the company,” he said.“They’re both talented executives and both are my friends.” 1/3
  2. 2. One of the reasons that Tsujihara was selected, according to company insiders, was thatBewkes and Warner Chairman Barry Meyer, who is retiring at year’s end after 14 years at thehelm, decided that a power-sharing arrangement would be untenable.“There always has to be a boss,” said Bob Daly, former Warner chairman who left the studio in1999 after nearly two decades on the job.IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – SAG 2013: Winners | Photo Booth | Backstage | Best & WorstWith his lack of experience in TV and film production, and relatively few relationships withcreators in both fields, Tsujihara will need to rely on Robinov and Rosenblum to succeed in hisnew job.Although Tsujihara gets along well with Robinov, he has developed a contentious relationshipwith Rosenblum in recent years, according to numerous people who know both but were notauthorized to speak publicly. Tsujihara said such accusations were “overblown.”The TV group produces just over half of Warner’s profits, which had led many inside andoutside the studio to believe Rosenblum had the inside line for the top job. In a statement, heconceded he was disappointed but said, “Warner Bros. is a unique and special place and Iknow it will be in good hands with Kevin at the helm.”Some have speculated that when Rosenblum’s contract expires in August, he might seek anew position within Time Warner or, more likely, outside the company.Robinov did not address his own feelings in a statement, saying only that he and Tsujihara “areboth good friends and colleagues and I think he’s an excellent choice for the job.” 2/3
  3. 3. But Robinov previously has made no secret of his desire to run a studio and could bolt if he were able to secure such a position elsewhere. Among the three, Robinov and Rosenblum have clashed the most. If Robinov or Rosenblum would have landed the top job, the other would have been likely to leave. STORY: Warner Bros. final studio to set animation strategy “By the first of the year, everyone will be rowing in the right direction,” Daly predicted. But “any time you take a company that has been so stable and make a major change, there could be other effects.” Source Article from, 0,2712221.story?track=rss At Warner Bros., new CEO’s first task is to bring peace to studio – Los Angeles Times 3/3Powered by TCPDF (