Warner Bros Entertainment has restructured its labor relations department, bringing it under the studio’s corporate legal department and promoting the studio’s longtime labor relations guru Hank Lachmund to run the unit.

“Labor Relations is our voice in the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and plays a critical role in maintaining stable and respectful relationships with the industry’s unions and guilds,” said Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara. “These organizations are absolutely crucial to the production business, and we look to Hank and our skillful labor relations team to manage these vital relationships.” A spokesman for the studio said the restructuring is unrelated to the “substantial layoffs” that are coming in the fourth quarter.

In his new role EVP Industrial Relations, Lachmund will be the studio’s key executive responsible for all aspects of labor relations. He will replace Alan Raphael, a 34-year studio veteran who will retire from the post at the end of November. Lachmund has been with Warner Bros for more than three decades, having joined the studio in 1983 as a Director of Labor Relations and later rising to VP and then SVP. Prior joining Warners, he was a supervisor for the National Labor Relations Board.

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“Hank’s experience, judgment and expertise will ensure that Warner Bros continues as a respected and recognized leader in labor issues,” said John Rogovin, EVP and General Counsel at Warner Bros Entertainment. “I’d also like to thank Alan for his many years of service to Warner Bros and the countless contributions he’s made to our company and our industry. While we’ll miss having Alan on staff day to day, he’s left us in great hands.”

As part of the restructuring, Stephen Carroll and Sam Wolfson have been promoted from VP to SVP Labor Relations, with Carroll retaining his focus on feature film-related issues and Wolfson continuing to focus on television. They will report to Lachmund. Carroll joined Warner Bros. Pictures in 2006 from the AMPTP and previously worked as an attorney in the labor relations departments of Sony and MGM. Wolfson began his career with Warner Bros Television 21 years ago as Director of Labor Relations. Before that he worked at Paramount Pictures’ labor relations department, having started his career with the NLRB in Los Angeles in 1979.

“Both Sam and Stephen are top-notch, strategic labor-management relations executives who have been key to the success of Warner Bros’ labor relations operations for many years,” said Lachmund. “These promotions are very well-deserved, and I look forward to working even more closely with both of them.”