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Saturday 19 October 2019

Warner Bros announces new top team following Kevin Tsujihara’s departure

Industry titan Tsujihara stood down as chairman following reports of an affair with a British actress.

Warner Bros has announced its new top team after former studio head Kevin Tsujihara stepped down amid reports of an affair with a British actress (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Warner Bros has announced its new top team after former studio head Kevin Tsujihara stepped down amid reports of an affair with a British actress (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Warner Bros has announced its new top team after former studio head Kevin Tsujihara stepped down amid reports of an affair with a British actress.

In a memo sent to staff on Tuesday, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams will be placed in interim control.

Stankey said: “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.”

Stankey said the company will “conduct a thorough and thoughtful search for a new Chairman and CEO to lead Warner Bros” in a permanent capacity.

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Kevin Tsujihara, former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, stepped aside amid reports of an extramarital affair Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Emmerich is the chairman of Warner Bros Picture Group, Roth the president and chief content officer of Warner Bros Television Group while Williams is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Warner Bros Entertainment.

Their elevations came after industry titan Tsujihara resigned from the role of chairman and CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment following allegations he gave British actress Charlotte Kirk preferential treatment while they were having an affair.

WarnerMedia launched an investigation earlier this month after a Hollywood Reporter story detailed text messages between Tsujihara and Kirk going back to 2013.

The messages suggested a quid pro quo sexual relationship between the aspiring actress and the studio head, in which he made promises that he would introduce her to influential executives and she would be considered for roles in movies and television.

The company has said Tsujihara’s “mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations”.

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WarnerMedia has announced the temporary replacements of former Warner Bros Entertainment chairman Kevin Tsujihara (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

And in a memo to Warner Bros staff, Tsujihara said he was departing “after lengthy introspection”.

“It has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success,” he said.

Kirk, who appeared in Warner Bros’ How To Be Single and Ocean’s 8, told Deadline in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Kevin Tsujihara stepping down at Warners.

“Our relationship ended many years ago. The release of the story by the Hollywood Reporter was nothing to do with me. In fact I tried to prevent it.

“Whatever differences we may have had in the past were long since forgotten. I only wish him the best of success in his future endeavours.”

Kirk has denied any inappropriate behaviour on the part of Tsujihara or two other executives, Brett Ratner and James Packer, with whom she communicated.

“Mr Tsujihara never promised me anything,” she said in an earlier statement.

PA Media

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