Kevin Tsujihara is stepping down as chief executive of Warner Bros. Entertainment, according to media reports.
Tsujihara leaves the Burbank film and television studio just weeks after his responsibilities had been expanded amid reports of his having a relationship with an actress that he may have helped get roles in Warner Bros. films.
WarnerMedia Chief Executive John Stankey said that it was in the best interests of the company, Warner Bros. and its employees that Tsujihara, who was named chief executive and chairman in 2013, step down from his positions.
“Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him,” Stankey said in a statement. “Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward.”
An interim leadership group is expected to be named on Tuesday.
Tsujihara had come under scrutiny following a March 6 story in industry publication Hollywood Reporter that he was in a sexual relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk. The article cited text messages between the two in which Tsujihara would push for auditions for the actress.
Kirk appeared in small roles in last year’s “Ocean’s 8” and the 2016 romantic comedy “How to Be Single.” But Tsujihara's attorney was quoted as saying, “Mr. Tsujihara had no direct role in the hiring of this actress,” according to the Reporter.
An outside law firm continues to investigate the claims made against the 54-year-old Tsujihara, the Reporter said.
On March 8, Tsujihara sent an email memo to Warner Bros. employees apologizing for the “mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most. … I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you. I realized some time ago you are right to expect more from me and I set a course to do better.”
The Reporter’s revelations came a few days after Stankey announced that Tsujihara would oversee a new global Kids & Young Adults business at Warner Bros. that would bring together children and animation efforts from across WarnerMedia, including Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang. He would also spearhead all activities around licensed consumer products development for WarnerMedia properties.