- Ann Sarnoff is an alumnus of prestigious Harvard Business School.
- Warner Bros. all set to launch their streaming service this fall.
Former BBC executive Ann Sarnoff has been appointed as new CEO of Warner Bros., marking the first time in studio history that a woman is at the top of the company.
Sarnoff will join CEO of WarnerMedia, John Stankey, as a top executive overseeing content as the company heads into a streaming-heavy future.
She has stepped in to replace Kevin Tsujihara, who left the company after a controversy, where a Hollywood reporter reported a story about how his influence is helping Charlotte Kirk’s acting career after they began a sexual relationship. Among a sea of men at WarnerMedia executive level, Sarnoff is the only woman.
In a press release, Stankey mentioned, “Ann has shown the ability to innovate and grow revenues and has embraced the evolution taking place in our industry. I am confident that she will be a great cultural fit for WarnerMedia.”
Ann Sarnoff and her expertise
This appointment news rang a surprise among trade publications, but her areas of expertise are perfect for WarnerMedia. The company is putting everything into its upcoming streaming service and needs a leader who can unite the theatrical division with a new streaming business. Sarnoff has worked at BBC worldwide for years to increase distribution for channels like BBC America, which saw a surge from 68 million to 80 million subscribers.
She also oversaw the alternative monetization methods at BBC which included helping Doctor Who merchandise reach more than $100 million at retail during her years with the company between 2010-2015. Going forward, all these skill sets and experiences are important for Warner Bros.
WarnerMedia is expected to launch its streaming service this fall. They haven’t confirmed launch date or pricing. Reportedly, it will cost between $16 and $17 a month.
That makes it a higher streaming service in term of costs, but it will include a subscription to HBO Now, which is currently $15.
Founded in 1923, Warner Bros. is one of the big five movie studios and a subsidiary of AT&T owned WarnerMedia.