HBO Home Entertainment President Steps Down
In a surprise announcement, HBO home entertainment president Henry McGee is stepping down from the post he’s held for 18 years to become a full-time faculty member at Harvard Business School, beginning in the fall.
Sofia Chang becomes the division’s new leader, effective March 4, as executive vp and GM, reporting to Simon Sutton, president of HBO International and Content Distribution.
McGee at Harvard will be a senior lecturer, teaching courses and conducting research in leadership and business ethics. He is a 34-year veteran of HBO and became president of its home video division, now called HBO Home Entertainment, in 1995. McGee’s tenure at HBO included stints in HBO Film Acquisitions, Cinemax, HBO Family Programming, HBO Enterprises, and Thorn EMI/HBO Video (now HBO Home Entertainment).
Under McGee, HBO was a driving force in the TV-to-DVD industry that boomed in the early 2000s. The premium network's miniseries Band of Brothers was at one point the top-selling TV-to-DVD title, and HBO helped define the business with elaborate "complete season" sets of its signature series The Sopranos and Sex and the City.
Before joining HBO, McGee worked for three years as a reporter for Newsweek magazine in its New York and Washington bureaus.
“Henry McGee represents the very best of what HBO has to offer when it comes to leadership, collaboration and innovation,” HBO president and COO Eric Kessler said in a statement. “He is one of the most well-regarded people working in the home entertainment industry today. To our great benefit, Henry has mentored countless other HBO leaders, such as Sofia Chang, who will continue to drive the division toward excellence in her new role."
Said McGee: “Thirty-four years ago I came to HBO from Harvard eager to apply all that I had learned in business school. I just turned 60 and now seems the ideal time to return to Harvard to share all of the skills and knowledge I have learned from working with my colleagues at HBO, the Dream Team of the entertainment industry."
McGee is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He has been inducted into the Video Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame of the National Association of Minorities in Communications and was named one of New York's top 100 minority executives by Crain's New York Business. He also has been elected a fellow of England's RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce) and been named one of the 50 most powerful African-Americans in the entertainment business by Black Enterprise magazine.
Chang assumes the video unit’s top spot a year after being promoted to senior vp program strategy & planning, in which she’s responsible for overseeing the program strategy, audience research and promotion planning and scheduling areas for HBO and Cinemax. Chang joined HBO in 2000 in the home entertainment division and has since held various positions of increasing responsibility.
Chang has been honored by Home Media Magazine as one of its top Women in Home Entertainment for five years.