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In a securities filing Wednesday afternoon, Lions Gate Entertainment, the parent company of the independent studio Lionsgate and the Starz pay-TV/streaming service, said that Zaslav is stepping down from its board of directors, effective immediately.
The filing added boilerplate language noting that the move “is not the result of any disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to its operations, policies or practices.” However, it is not unusual for directors at public companies to step down from corporate boards if their’ “day job” becomes a more direct a competitor. For example, then-Disney CEO Bob Iger stepped down from Apple’s board of directors on the same day the tech giant announced its move into streaming video.
With Warner Bros., HBO and HBO Max more direct competition to Lionsgate than any of Discovery’s current businesses, it is possible that may have been a factor in the decision. Zaslav joined the Lionsgate board in 2015 as part of an investment deal involving Discovery and John Malone’s Liberty Media. Zaslav also sits on the board of SiriusXM, which is also controlled by Malone.
The Discovery CEO signed a contract extension in conjunction with the merger, keeping him at the helm of the company through at least 2027.
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