The moves come as the company’s Studios and Networks Group, a key element of CEO Jason Kilar’s restructuring plan, takes shape.
Levine’s new position, Chief Strategy Officer and EVP Business Operations, is a new one for the organization. The 11-year studio veteran had been Warner Bros’ EVP Television Business Strategy and Digital Services. He will continue to report to Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of Warner Bros, whose role was significantly expanded last month by Kilar.
In his new role, Levine will work with Sarnoff to develop, modify and execute the operational structure and long-term plans as part of the broader restructuring of AT&T-owned WarnerMedia. He will keep his current responsibilities, which include strategic and operational responsibilities of the WB Television Group and management of the company’s interest in the CW Network; both Levine and Sarnoff serve on the CW board. He will also now oversee the Corporate Business Development and Strategy Group and the Worldwide Studio Operations Group.
Gewecke, who joined the company as president of digital distribution in 2008, will step down at the end of September as Warner Bros’ Chief Digital Officer and EVP Strategy and Business Development. He had served in his current role since 2013, supporting the studio’s worldwide digital growth, managing global business strategy including M&A and investment activities, and overseeing technology efforts.
“Jay is insightful and future-focused, and I look forward to continue working with him to successfully deliver on the ambitious strategic and operational goals we’ve set for the Studios and Networks Group,” Sarnoff said.
She thanked Gewecke for “his many contributions to the company and his personal support and partnership over the past year.” She added, “We will miss his collegiality, his positive spirit and his passionate support for new product and business ideas.”
Kilar, a former Amazon executive and the founding CEO of Hulu, has brought a strong digital focus to WarnerMedia and has said that building out HBO Max, the company’s three-month-old streaming service, is a key priority. He has already made changes to the org chart in several areas to reflect the new shift, upping Sarnoff and Casey Bloys and letting go of former HBO Max stewards Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly.
“Warner Bros is an extraordinary place, with an unmatched legacy of iconic storytelling, and my time here has been the highlight of my career,” Gewecke said. “I’m so thankful to the amazing teams I’ve had the privilege to work with who have made these past 12 years so rewarding and memorable. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family here in Portland, Oregon, and exploring some new vistas.”
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