Unexpected choice to run Warner Bros. Entertainment

Kevin Tsujihara gets the job, beating Bruce Rosenblum, who is in charge of the lucrative TV side, and Jeff Robinov, who is head of the movie studio. Tsujihara, president of the home entertainment division and a key player in the company's digital strategy, apparently impressed Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes a lot more than many in Hollywood had suspected. He replaces Barry Meyer, who is retiring. From the announcement memo (via Nikki Finke at Deadline):

As you may know, Kevin has been with the company for nearly two decades, serving in positions of increasing responsibility in finance, new media and strategy. In 2005, Kevin was appointed to head the then newly formed Home Entertainment Group, which he has skillfully led through a difficult transition and which remains number one in the industry by every measure. Just as importantly, he is a leading voice in creating and deploying new digital models to ensure that we remain market leaders. We've both been very impressed with Kevin's strategic understanding and intuitive grasp of the evolution of the consumer's interaction with our television shows, films and video games, and his ability to visualize how our products will be enjoyed in the future.

In September 2010, Bewkes corralled the three executives into an Office of the President that was supposed to foster teamwork among the divisions but instead created lots of animosity and backbiting. There will be more to come on why Tsujihara was finally selected, but in the memo Bewkes and Meyer pointed to "his integrity, his good nature, his clear and understated management style."

More from Deadline:

Few thought Robinov was seriously in the running for the top job since he'd only taken over as film studio president in Spring 2011 from outgoing Alan Horn (now heading up Walt Disney Studios after Bewkes unceremoniously kicked him to the curb). But conventional wisdom was that Rosenblum had a near lock on the job, especially if Bewkes decided not to go outside. And an appointment of Rosenblum would have continued Meyer's TV leadership at Warner Bros and therefore not been questioned.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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