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WARNER BROS Eliminates WOKE Diversity Equity And Inclusion Office! David Zaslav Strikes Again!

by 09.20.2022

Warner Bros Discovery has completely eliminated it’s centralized diversity equity and inclusion office to restructure into a tiny human resources department. They will have almost zero influence on how business is done across all their operations. This was accomplished by expanding their focus to international, local regions with minor, tiny staffs that have no authority over creative or business decisions. Former DIE executives are leaving the company because they know they now have no influence.

I am not wrong about this. This is the real deal. Impressive and effective move by the Zaslav executive team.


WARNER BROS Eliminates WOKE Diversity Equity And Inclusion Office!

Warner Bros. Discovery Restructures DEI Team With an International Geographic Focus (Exclusive)

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“We need to focus on [regional] markets, which are unique in their challenges,” chief DEI officer Asif Sadiq tells THR.

Warner Bros. Discovery has restructured its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion group for the first time since the newly formed company’s merger was completed in April.

With chief DEI officer Asif Sadiq, promoted in late July, based in London, the new structure puts an emphasis on handling DEI issues by international region: North America (led by senior vice president Karen Horne, formerly WarnerMedia svp of pipeline programs); Europe, Middle East and Africa (led by vp Rukasana Bhaijee, who was hired from Google in March to serve as executive director of WBD’s workforce DEI strategy internationally); Latin America (led by director Niarchos Pabalis, hired from Booking.com in March); and Asia-Pacific (with a director to be announced soon). All four regional leaders will report to Sadiq, who reports jointly to WBD CEO David Zaslav and chief people officer Adria Alpert Romm.

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In addition, a new trio of execs at the vp level will work across the regions worldwide and with WBD’s previously announced Creative and Business Councils (composed of the company’s top division heads) to oversee specific functional areas of DEI focus: vp of workforce Christian Hug, vp of pipeline programs Grace Anne Moss and vp of content/productions Yvette Urbina. SVPs MyKhanh Shelton and Samata Narra, who oversaw workforce and content, respectively, as part of WarnerMedia’s equity and inclusion leadership team, will depart the company after a period of transition.

The new WBD DEI team will work with the previously appointed CNN evp of integration and inclusion Johnita Due, WBD svp for ad sales and inclusive monetization Sheereen Russell and Monica Neal, who leads DEI communications and marketing for the company.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sadiq shared some of the reasoning that guided the restructuring of his team. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What were the guiding principles behind reorganizing the DEI division?

When I joined WarnerMedia, I headed up international [on the equity and inclusion team] and I realized I can’t do international by myself, so I started establishing the regional leads. Before I came along, there wasn’t an international team. The U.S. in the past looked after everything. It’s been difficult for that team to do everything, so this provides very specific structure. I do believe that’s important for us to drive change.

We need to focus on markets: North America, EMEA, LATAM and APAC are unique in their challenges. In the past we tried to do everything, being the DEI team for every single region. We did some amazing things but we want to ensure we have teams focused on the region, whose sole responsibility is driving DEI within that space and truly understand what DEI challenges and opportunities exist there. As we think about our staffing, we base it on our workforce and operational footprint in the region. The U.S. team’s going to be the biggest team based on the amount of staff and productions there, followed by EMEA, then LATAM and APAC. That is to ensure we are able to service our business as a DEI team much better rather than not having enough staff to drive change.

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