After 13 years with Warner Home Video, Jeff Baker, EVP and General Manager who oversaw restored releases of films like Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz, will be retiring at the end of the month. Jim Wuthrich, the studio’s President of the Americas, made the announcement in a company-wide memo.
Baker’s tenure, which began in 2002, coincided with the industry transition from physical sales and rentals dominating home video, to the mass adoption of online streaming services like Netflix and Amazon that cut into home video profits. Despite this, Warner Home Video generated close to $7 billion in revenues during Baker’s time with the division. Credited for excelling “at developing and producing multi-feature content in unique box sets” that extended the life of key WB titles, Baker was key in the decisions to reissue classic movies in box sets filled with extras and collectables. Among the products he spearheaded were Clint Eastwood’s 40 film collection, Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection, and the 5oth anniversary collector’s edition of Ben-Hur. He also headed up WB’s 90th anniversary efforts, which included the documentary Tales From the Warner Bros. Lot, and Warner Bros. 100 Film Collection.
“Jeff has been an incredible executive and colleague, and during his leadership of our catalog division, the group generated nearly $7 billion in consumer spend and was responsible for maintaining our leadership in the category,” Wuthrich said in his email. “We’re extremely grateful for the many contributions he’s made to the company.”
Baker will continue to have a relationship with Warner Bros, and will serve as a creative consultant for Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment following his retirement.