Warner Bros. executive vice president and top legal boss John Rogovin has resigned his post.
The well-liked and respected Rogovin was general counsel for the former WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, which encompassed units like Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Television. That division was overseen by Ann Sarnoff, who departed the company in early April on the heels of WarnerMedia’s $43 billion merger with Discovery.
Rogovin informed staff of his decision to leave in a Wednesday email, saying “there is a complete reorganization at the newly combined company, including the legal operations, and I have decided that it’s time to move on to a new chapter after a truly fantastic run.” It was not immediately clear who, in the newly-merged structure, will absorb Rogovin’s portfolio. He will remain in place for a transitional period.
“It’s been an incredible run for 14 years. Serving as the general counsel of Warner Bros. has been one of the all-time great legal jobs. But now is the right time for me to move on. And I wish the new leadership and everyone all the best for continued success,” Rogovin told Variety.
Rogovin is credited with masterful strategies around some of the company’s biggest intellectual property, including “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Two and a Half Men.” His biggest contribution was rescuing the film group from an agonizing rights battle over the character of Superman, brought on by comic co-creator Joe Shuster’s family. The loss of the case would’ve dramatically impacted DC Entertainment’s film and TV projects throughout the years.
Prior to Warner Bros., he served four year as general counsel at the Federal Communications Commission providing guidance on issues including broadband internet access and the advent of wireless. He was also deputy assistant attorney general in the civil division of the Department of Justice during the Clinton administration.
Rogovin holds degrees from Columbia University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia College and is a board member at the MPA, Creative Future and the Public Counsel Law Center.
Read his full memo to staff:
I wanted to let you know that I will be leaving Warner Bros. You have been a good friend to me, and I wanted you to hear it from me first.
As you might expect, there is a complete reorganization at the newly combined Company, including the legal operations, and I have decided that it’s time to move on to a new chapter after a truly fantastic run.
I have really loved my 14 years at Warner Bros. and it has been one of the all-time best jobs in the world for a lawyer.
The new team at Discovery has been extremely generous to me, and they have asked me to stay on during the transition which I have agreed to do.
I look forward to staying in touch.
All the best.