HBO CEO Bill Nelson will retire at the end of the year after
28 years at the pay cable network, parent company Time Warner announced
Thursday. Richard Plepler, who had been co-president of HBO since 2007, will
Eric Kessler, who had also been co-president, has been elevated to
president and COO and Michael Lombardo will remain president of programming,
with both now reporting to Plepler.
"Bill and I have worked together for many, many years and
though I'm sad to see him leave, I respect his decision to enjoy retirement. He
is a world-class CEO and leaves the company well-positioned for the future,"
said Jeff Bewkes, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc. "The company will not
miss a step with the new team, which has the combination of talent and
experience to drive HBO to new heights of creative excellence, innovation, and
financial performance. Richard and Eric are twenty-plus year veterans of the
company who, as co-presidents, helped HBO re-establish its pre-eminence over
the past five years, and Mike Lombardo has done an exceptional job in
developing the best slate in HBO's history."
Nelson has been CEO of HBO since 2007 after serving as COO
since 2002. Under his tenure, the pay cable network has dominated awards show recognition,
including a recent 81 Emmy nominations and launched HBO Go, its popular
authenticated streaming service.
In his stint as co-president, Plepler has greenlit some of
the network's most successful series, including True Blood, Boardwalk Empire,
and Game of Thrones. He first joined
HBO in 1992 as senior VP of corporate communications and was executive VP of
HBO from 2002-07.