Discovery's David Zaslav names execs as WarnerMedia merger looms

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Inc., revealed today his impending executive leadership picks as WarnerMedia and Discovery finalize the terms of their merger.

The news comes at a pertinent time, with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar resigning earlier this week. Discovery and WarnerMedia could potentially close the deal as early as this Friday, according to Variety.

Several executives will maintain their previous roles in the newly branded corporation, including Casey Bloys as chief content officer at HBO and HBO Max, Discovery Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels and Channing Dungey as chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group.

Bruce Campbell will take on Warner Bros. Discovery's newly created role of chief revenue and strategy officer. His responsibilities will include oversight of U.S. advertising sales, distribution revenue and content licensing. Campbell previously served as Discovery’s chief development, distribution and legal officer.

J.B. Perrette, who has been with Discovery for over a decade, will become CEO and president of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment. He will oversee HBO Max and Discovery+ as well as direct-to-consumer operations worldwide.

“I am proud that our new executive management team blends world-class leaders from both organizations as we take our first step toward one single cohesive, collaborative culture,” Zaslav, the future CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement combines a strong team of professional managers in a simpler organizational structure, with fewer layers, more accountability and a singular strategic focus as a global pure-play content company.”

Zaslav’s leadership team is likely to bolster Warner Bro. Discovery’s streaming strategy. Upon the merger's completion, Discovery+ and HBO Max will be offered as a streaming bundle, Wiedenfels said at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference last month. Warner Bros. Discovery will eventually consolidate the two services into one platform.

The merger received the regulatory green light back in February, with AT&T, WarnerMedia’s parent company, to receive $43 billion for the transaction. Both companies enter the agreement with a strong subscriber base. Discovery recorded 22 million paid subscribers at the end of last year, primarily attributed to users on the Discovery+ platform. HBO and HBO Max counted 73.8 million subscribers in that same period, with plans to expand its global footprint to 61 countries.