MARCH 19, 2019 8:00AM PT Hollywood’s Musical Chairs: Top Execs Are Changing Jobs and Facing High Expectations

March 19, 2019

Cynthia Littleton 

Executive Shuffle


When NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said goodbye to his job in September after eight years, he became a free agent just when the largest players in media were taking a hard look at their management ranks.

At the time, a top TV producer dubbed Greenblatt a “lethal weapon” that could be drawn by any number of media and tech giants looking to shake up their leadership status quo.

For weeks, there were rumblings about the former head of NBC and Showtime moving into a plum post at Apple, or taking the helm of CBS Corp., or replacing Richard Plepler at the top of HBO. On March 4, Greenblatt landed as chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct to Consumer, overseeing HBO, TNT, TBS, TruTV and WarnerMedia’s nascent streaming services. WarnerMedia’s parent company, AT&T, accelerated the pace of a restructuring that had already been contemplated in order to craft a portfolio for Greenblatt that was bigger than the industry rumor mill envisioned.

Greenblatt’s arrival — and Plepler’s departure after 27 years with HBO — marks the latest round of high-level executive musical chairs that has rattled the industry over the past 18 months. Whether it’s Greenblatt at WarnerMedia, Peter Rice and Dana Walden moving to Disney, Jennifer Salke at Amazon, Channing Dungey at Netflix or Charlie Collier at Fox Corp., an unprecedented number of prominent senior managers have changed jobs in a short period of time. That amounts to a clutch of hard-charging executives being unleashed with money to spend, mountains to climb and a lot to prove, to themselves and to their once and future colleagues in a highly competitive, shifting landscape.

“We’re living through an extraordinary time. We’ve never seen anything like this in terms of the disruption that is going on,” says Stuart Sucherman, chairman of Sucherman Group, an executive placement firm. “The fact that people are moving around and jobs are changing is a result of all that turmoil.”

Top jobs are opening up because the largest media and entertainment firms are under pressure to reinvent a big chunk of their businesses for the streaming era. Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal are taking a big swing to follow Netflix into the direct-to-consumer streaming market with ambitious services planned for launch later this year and in 2020.

To read more see


Read More: