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The executive made the remarks in an employee town hall Thursday.
“My plan and my focus is to remain here in my CEO role at WarnerMedia,” Kilar said, according to an attendee. “I am not thinking right now about post-merger. There will be a time to consider that topic in 2022.”
He added: “I believe we have unfinished business and the work of the next year can and should be extremely fulfilling as the world continues to see what we are capable of doing.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported Kilar’s comments.
Under Kilar’s leadership, WarnerMedia has continued to try and grow its HBO Max streaming service. The company detailed plans to launch in Latin America earlier this week, and next month will roll out a less expensive ad-supported tier of service at $10 per month.
Kilar’s future at WarnerMedia had been in question ever since parent company AT&T, led by John Stankey, announced plans to spin it off and merge it with Discovery Inc., led by David Zaslav. Zaslav would run the combined company, and Stankey said that the Discovery chief would decide which WarnerMedia executives would join the new company.
Zaslav had praised Kilar in a press conference as a “fantastic leader,” with Stankey adding that he would continue to serve as CEO.
Kilar was reportedly kept in the dark on the merger plans until just a few weeks before it was announced on May 17. If Kilar were to leave, and with the Discovery merger not expected to close until some point in 2022, WarnerMedia would need to find an interim chief executive willing to lead the company for only a few months before the deal closed.
His comments Thursday, however, certainly suggest that his departure is not imminent.
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