A movie executive's job is to produce hits, right? And in the last 12 years, Horn has certainly delivered, with "The Perfect Storm," "The Departed," "Happy Feet," "Ocean's Eleven," "Million Dollar Baby," "The Dark Knight," and the Harry Potter series, the most lucrative film franchise in Hollywood history. Under his leadership, Warner has been the No. 1 studio in market share for the last three years. So Time Warner's new CEO, Jeff Bewkes, decides to let the guy go. "The notion of my leaving, as you know, did not come from me," Horn told the NYT. "I guess they wanted younger and better-looking management." Horn said it was hard to step aside, "but Jeff Bewkes, you've heard that name, he's the big boss."
Mr. Horn's friends say a first slight from Time Warner came in 2009, when the company allowed news to circulate in the Hollywood trade press that it planned to renew the contracts of Mr. Horn and Barry M. Meyer, Warner's chairman, for only two years instead of the typical three to five. "Humiliating!" was how Deadline.com, the Hollywood blog, summed up the move. Then, last September, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Time Warner's chief executive, announced that he would keep Mr. Meyer in place for two more years -- but stick to the planned parting of ways with Mr. Horn, whose consolation prize was a consulting gig. To replace Mr. Horn, the company created an "office of the president," elevating three executives who had been angling for promotion: Jeff Robinov, Bruce Rosenblum and Kevin Tsujihara.