The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Warner Bros. Entertainment has a new CEO: the man behind its digital distribution efforts, Kevin Tsujihara. Selected by Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, Tsujihara is currently president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, where he's overseen the company's digital distribution, video game, and home entertainment initiatives. Tsujihara has also been an outspoken proponent of UltraViolet, leading the company's efforts to transition users from physical media to the digital locker service. According to the Times he was also the individual behind the company's acquisition of Flixster and a driving force behind the digital availability of Warner Bros. content on services like iTunes and the Xbox.
Tsujihara will replace current Warner Bros. Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Barry Meyer when he retires at the end of this year. By selecting Tsujihara, Bewkes has essentially passed over two other high-ranking individuals in the Warner Bros. family: Jeff Robinov, who heads Warner Bros. Film, and Bruce Rosenblum, who oversees television production. Rosenblum was reportedly considered the front-runner for the position as recently as a year ago, given the consistent success of Warner Bros. Television. The Times reports that aggressive campaigning on Rosenblum's part may have hurt his chances, but it appears that an increased focus on digital distribution may have also been a factor in the decision.
An increased focus on digital distribution may have been a factor
Deadline has the company-wide memo from Bewkes and Meyer making the announcement, in which Tsujihara is singled out for his "leading voice" in helping the company advance in the digital realm. "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," the pair write, also touting his "ability to visualize how our products will be enjoyed in the future."