The chairman and CEO of HBO is leaving the company, amid news that another veteran media executive appears to be positioning to run the pay-cable channel.
Variety reports that Richard Plepler broke the news in a memo to HBO staffers today. In the memo, which you can read in full by clicking on the link to the Variety story, Plepler writes: “Hard as it is to think about leaving the company I love, and the people I love in it, it is the right time for me to do so. In the past weeks, I’ve thought a lot about the incredible journey of this company in the nearly 28 years that I have been blessed to be here. It’s a journey of great pride and accomplishment because so many of you, and many others before us, have made HBO a cultural and business phenomenon.”
Variety adds: “News of Plepler’s exit comes after it was reported that former NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt has been in talks with WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey for a position in which Greenblatt would oversee HBO, Turner, and WarnerMedia’s planned direct-to-consumer service.”
In a statement provided to Variety, Stankey said: “Richard is one of the most successful executives in our industry and I have been fortunate to have his support over the last months. His vision, energy and passion helped to elevate HBO’s brand to what it has become today. Richard’s impact to our business and on the passionate viewers of HBO’s enduring programming will continue to be felt for years.”
Variety adds: “A high-ranking source at WarnerMedia had told Variety that Plepler and Turner President David Levy have grown agitated as WarnerMedia continued to consider changes that could include combining HBO and Turner in which a significant number of redundant jobs would be eliminated.”