Kevin Tsujihara was named the next chief executive of the Warner Bros. studio, one of the largest producers of TV shows and movies in Hollywood. He’ll take over from Barry Meyer on March 1.
Tsujihara, 48, has been president of the studio’s home entertainment division since 2005.
Jeff Bewkes, the chief executive of Warner Bros. parent Time Warner Inc., said in a statement Monday that Tsujihara was the right leader for the studio, combining strategic thinking with financial discipline.
“Kevin is one of the most effective and respected executives within Time Warner,” Bewkes said.
Tsujihara said in a statement it was an honor to lead the studio.
“We’re at a pivotal moment in the histories of Hollywood and entertainment: technology is changing the canvas we use to create theatrical releases,” he said.
Meyer will continue on as chairman of the studio through 2013.
The appointment ends a three-way race to succeed Meyer, 69, who has been chairman and CEO of the studio since 1999.
After Alan Horn left as president of Warner Bros. in April 2011, an office of the president was shared between Tsujihara, Warner Bros. Pictures president Jeff Robinov, and Warner Bros. Television president Bruce Rosenblum. It was assumed one of the three would succeed Meyer.
Rosenblum said in a statement he was disappointed: “Who wouldn’t be? Warner Bros. is a unique and special place and I know it will be in good hands with Kevin at the helm.”
Robinov also offered his congratulations in a statement: “We are both good friends and colleagues and I think he’s an excellent choice for the job.”
Since divesting its AOL and cable TV operations, Time Warner has narrowed its focus on content in recent years, making the studio a more important factor in the company’s finances.
In fiscal 2011, the studio accounted for $12.6 billion in revenue, about 43 percent of the entire company’s revenue, and $1.3 billion in operating profit, about 22 percent of the total.
Time Warner shares fell 29 cents to $50.11 in afternoon trading Monday in a mixed overall market. Time Warner shares have traded in a 52-week range of $33.62 to $51.29.
Editor’s note: EW’s parent company, Time Inc., is also a division of Time Warner.