Robert Blair Departs Warner Bros Discovery Int’l
Robert Blair, president of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) International TV Distribution, has been let go from his position after 25 years in the company. By: Yan Yun
WBD’S President of International, Gerhard Zeiler, disclosed the news in an internal memo to staff. According to his, Blair’s departure can be attributed to a structural change to the team amid the global economic crisis. He added that Blair’s position would not be replaced.
“Last year, we unveiled a new organisational structure for International, which we believed best positioned us for success at that time. But we also acknowledged that in an ever-changing industry and market, we would need to continue to evolve in a thoughtful and strategic way, along with the climate around us,” Zeiler said.
“Seven months into 2023, although we remain confident about our trajectory as a business, we are at another inflection point, and one where the global economy has not rebounded as quickly as we had hoped. After much deliberation, we believe this is a necessary structural change to our team design that both flattens and streamlines the content licensing organisation. Robert will transition over the summer and partner closely with me to even further empower the local content licensing team who remain accountable for the majority of our content licensing revenue internationally.”
Blair had been an integral part of Warner Bros International Television Distribution, starting as exec VP in 1998 and eventually assuming the role of International TV Distribution’s president after the company’s merger with Discovery in 2019.
Zeiler has since expressed his gratitude for Robert’s exceptional leadership and talent, effort, citing that his contributions to the company in his 25 years of service “can be measured in several billions of dollars of sales contracts he made possible every year.” He emphasised that the decision to let go of Blair was not a result of his performance, but rather a step to improve efficiency and cost structure.
In an ending statement, Zeiler urged staff to consider the change as “a strategic need to deliver on our near-term operating and financial objectives.”