Another Warner Bros. Discovery Executive Is Abandoning The Company
Karen Jones, an executive for HBO Max, is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery, marking another major figure to leave the company's leadership.
In the wake of the departure of Warner Bros. Discovery’s DC Film boss Walter Hamada just weeks ago, Variety reports another executive, Karen Jones, has announced her departure after being employed with the company for 23 years. Jones was the executive vice president and head of communications for HBO/HBO Max, a role she took on in 2019.
Karen Jones’ statement to staffers noted that this wouldn’t surprise many, as she was very open about being excited about a new chapter of her life. She expressed gratitude for her journey with Warner Bros. Discovery and complimented her colleagues as the hardest-working media relations team.
In her most recent role as executive vice president and head of communications, Karen Jones was responsible for public strategy for HBO and HBO Max, where she oversaw teams in Los Angeles and New York. Before that, she was senior vice president of media relations at HBO, which handled programming campaigns for series like Westworld, Lovecraft Country, Silicon Valley, Chernobyl, Olive Kitteridge, and many others.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav has been making waves at the company with his proposed $3 billion in budget cuts. This has led to many projects being scraped, including Batgirl, which is part of the reason Hamada resigned, and this controversy could have led to Karen Jones’ departure as well.
Zaslav is planning to merge HBO Max, the area Karen Jones worked in, with Discovery + in the summer of 2023, and Cartoon Network is set to merge with Warner Brother’s animation department. These changes have led to many layoffs as jobs are being merged.
Warner Bros. Discovery wants to institute a ten-year plan to mimic what Marvel has done, and instill a Kevin Feige-type person to oversee the DC Films. Feige, the creative director of Marvel Studios, helped build the MCU into the powerhouse that it is today.
Reports circulated that Dan Lin, Taiwanese-American film producer and founder and CEO of Rideback, was offered the position of DC Film Boss, Hamada’s former title, but declined. There have also been reports that Fox chief Emma Watts was also a candidate for the position, but James Gunn and Peter Safran were named to lead the studio instead.
With the loss of Walter Hamada, who now has a lead role at Paramount, and Karen Jones so close together, can Warner Bros. Discovery recover from these losses? Zaslav’s mergers and drastic budget cuts have hurt the company, and they need to find some highly qualified individuals to fill these roles to repair any damage done.
Karen Jones joined HBO in 1999 and served as a member of the Television Academy’s public relations peer group and served as a mentor for the Hollywood Radio & Television Society and the WICT Network Southern California chapter.
In her statement to her co-workers, Karen Jones talked about chasing new dreams and working harder at paying it forward. With the state of things at Warner Bros. Discovery, it was likely an excellent time for her to make this change.