Tsujihara named CEO of Warner Bros
05:00 AM, Jan 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES Time Warner has tapped Kevin Tsujihara the next CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment, the giant movie and TV producer that also includes DC Comics and other businesses.
In a move that caught Hollywood by surprise, Tsujihara, who now heads the home entertainment division, triumphed over TV Group chief Bruce Rosenblum, who was considered the odds-on favorite, and movie chief Jeff Robinov in a semi-public competition for the top job.
“Obviously I’m disappointed; who wouldn’t be?” Rosenblum said in an unusually candid statement.
Tsujihara replaces Barry Meyer, who is retiring effective March 1 after serving as CEO since 1999.
Tsujihara, 48, has been president of the studio’s home entertainment division since 2005.
Jeff Bewkes, the chief executive of Warner Bros. parent Time Warner Inc., said in a statement Monday that Tsujihara was the right leader for the studio, combining strategic thinking with financial discipline.
“Kevin is one of the most effective and respected executives within Time Warner,” Bewkes said.
Tsujihara said in a statement it was an honor to lead the studio.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in the histories of Hollywood and entertainment: technology is changing the canvas we use to create theatrical releases,” he said.
Meyer, 69, will continue on as chairman of the studio through 2013.
Since divesting its AOL and cable TV operations, Time Warner has narrowed its focus on content in recent years, making the studio a more important factor in the company’s finances.
In fiscal 2011, the studio accounted for $12.6 billion in revenue, about 43 percent of the entire company’s revenue, and $1.3 billion in operating profit, about 22 percent of the total.
Time Warner shares fell 31 cents to $50.09 in late afternoon trading Monday in a mixed overall market. Time Warner shares have traded in a 52-week range of $33.62 to $51.29.