Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has resigned, stepping down amid an investigation into allegations that he used his influence at the studio to get work for a young actress he was involved with sexually.
“It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.,” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said. “Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him. Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward.
“The Company continues to work with a third-party law firm to complete its investigation with Mr. Tsujihara’s cooperation.”
The Hollywood Reporter published a story earlier this month that revealed alleged text messages between Tsujihara and British actress Charlotte Kirk going back to 2013. The story also involved Australian billionaire James Packer and controversial Hollywood director Brett Ratner.
Kirk appeared in the 2016 Warner Bros. film “How to Be Single” and 2018’s “Ocean’s 8.”
Tsujihara sent a memo to Warner staff members Monday. He said that after reflecting “on how the attention on my past actions might impact the company’s future,” he had decided to step down. He added that “it has become clear that my continued leadership could be a distraction and an obstacle to the company’s continued success. The hard work of everyone within our organization is truly admirable, and I won’t let media attention on my past detract from all the great work the team is doing.”
A successor for Tsujihara has not been named, but an interim leadership team was expected to be announced on Tuesday.