Amazon alumni have turned up at a wide range of digital and traditional media firms, such as Snap and Disney. But one of the biggest contingents—around 100—has defected to TV firm Discovery, owner of the Discovery Channel, HGTV and Animal Planet, following a former Amazon Marketplace executive, Peter Faricy. He was hired in 2018 to build a big streaming video group and help Discovery “pivot to become a next-generation media company,” as Discovery CEO David Zaslav said at the time.
But Discovery’s hopes of acquiring a bit of Amazon’s magic are now in question. Discovery said abruptly in mid-June that Faricy would leave, even though one of his biggest projects—a mass-market streaming service internally called Discovery Plus—hasn’t yet launched. His departure comes after months of mounting tensions between him and Zaslav, The Information has learned. The two differed over how much autonomy Faricy would have as well as how fast new streaming services should grow and how much priority to give to big distribution deals with cable firms and other companies, say people with knowledge of the situation.