WarnerMedia has named Ann Sarnoff chair and CEO for its Warner Bros. film and television unit, ending a months-long search for a replacement for former chairman Kevin Tsujihara, who exited the company in March over allegations of an improper relationship with an actress. Ms. Sarnoff, who is currently president of BBC Studios America, will oversee the Warner Bros. unit, which houses the company’s film and television studio, and its interactive entertainment division. Ms. Sarnoff will report to WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.
Ms. Sarnoff, who previously held roles as president of Dow Jones Ventures and COO of the WNBA, joins Warner Bros. at a time when parent company WarnerMedia needs both executive stability and female leadership. Prior to Ms. Sarnoff’s hire, only one of the eight executives on Stankey’s senior leadership team was a woman. The studio was being run by an interim leadership team consisting of leaders of its various businesses, many of whom expressed loyalty to Mr. Tsujihara just a few weeks ago at a conference held on the Warner Bros. lot. WarnerMedia, meanwhile, has seen multiple executive shuffles in the last few months, including the exit of WarnerMedia general manager Brad Bentley, who had been in charge of the streaming service for less than a year.