Jason Kilar has been named chief executive of WarnerMedia.
As WarnerMedia rapidly pivots to an online future, the company has named Jason Kilar as its new CEO to oversee the entertainment giant in these uncertain times, The Los Angeles Times reports, succeeding John Stankey, who was promoted to the broader AT&T job in September. Stankey’s promotion puts him in line to succeed AT&T chief Randall Stephenson. Kilar will be based in Los Angeles and report to Stankey when he starts May 1.
Kilar, the Los Angeles Times adds, is a logical one for AT&T-owned WarnerMedia. He was the founding chief executive of Hulu, serving as a key architect of the pioneering Santa Monica streaming service. He was previously a top executive at Amazon.com Inc. The stakes are high for AT&T-owned WarnerMedia. Its crown jewel, HBO, has long set the gold standard in television with such shows as “Succession,” “Game of Thrones” and “The Sopranos.” But the world is changing as tech companies draw eyeballs and talent away from legacy TV channels.
The leadership change comes after activist investor Elliott Management pressured AT&T to shake up WarnerMedia, which the Dallas telecom purchased for $85 billion in 2018. One of the New York hedge fund’s priorities was for AT&T to install a media executive atop WarnerMedia.