Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich is stepping down this summer and will be replaced by Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy as co-chairpersons and CEOs.
Here are the details of Emmerich’s departure:
- At present, Emmerich is chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group which includes Warner Bros. Feature Animation as well as Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, and DC-based Film Production. However, Warner plans to break up the pieces into distinct business segments with Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and DC-based Film Production each operating under separate, dedicated leadership.
- According to reports, Emmerich’s decision came in the face of that reorganization which would see him give up oversight of DC and feature animation. He will stay on board until this summer however, when De Luca and Abdy take on their new roles. The pair will oversee the combined Pictures Group divisions, including feature animation and DC, until permanent hires can be made to head those departments.
- Following his departure, Emmerich will launch a new production company at the Warner Bros. studio focused on film, television, and streaming. As part of an exclusive five-year agreement, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery will finance the venture and take distribution rights to films and series coming from the studio.
- Emmerich took the Warner Bros. job after leaving New Line in late 2016. In 2017, he became president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and in 2018 its chairman. During his tenure, he oversaw Warner Bros. Pictures Group’s best-ever year in 2018, with a global box office take of $5.57 billion.
- Warner Bros. Feature Animation releases during Emmerich’s tenure include The Lego Batman Movie, Smallfoot, Scoob!, Tom & Jerry, and Space Jam: A New Legacy, among others.
- “After 21 years at New Line and Warner Bros., and a lot of long walks and soul-searching conversations with Zas [Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav], I’ve decided to step down from my role as Chairman at the end of the summer,” said Emmerich in a letter to his team. “I’ll be cheering… all of you on from a production company office on this beautiful lot. I’m proud of all of it and can only say thanks. I’ll see you on the other side.”.
- “We have a deep history of world-class production here at Warner Bros. Discovery, and our intent going forward is to tell more of the best stories and to share them with an even bigger audience around the world,” Zaslav wrote in a memo to staff. “Toby and his team will play an important and valued role in this endeavor, we’re so glad to have them join us, and we can’t wait to see what they will create in the months and years ahead.”