Ann Sarnoff
Ann Sarnoff

Ann Sarnoff, president of BBC Studios America (formerly BBC Worldwide Americas), will be the first woman CEO of Warner Bros. when she joins the 96-year-old studio later this summer.

She will take over for Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down in March after he was charged with abuse of power, an allegation that he denied.

Sarnoff has more than 30 years of production, marketing and distribution experience in film, TV and interactive entertainment sectors.

Prior to the BBC, which has 80M US subscribers, Sarnoff was president of Dow Jones Ventures and senior VP-strategy, COO of the Women's National Basketball Assn. She also serves as executive VP-consumer products & business development at Viacom's Nickelodeon, where she launched franchises such as "Blue's Clues" and "Rugrats."

“Ann has shown the ability to innovate and grow revenues and has embraced the evolution taking place in our industry," John Stankey, CEO of WarnerMedia, said in a statement. "I am confident she will be a great cultural fit for WarnerMedia and that our employees will embrace her leadership, enthusiasm and passion for our business.”

An interim management team has led Warner Bros. since Tsujihara's exit. They include Toby Emmerich, pictures group chairman; Peter Roth, president/chief content officer, and Kim Williams, executive VP/CFO.

Sarnoff will be based in Los Angeles at the AT&T unit.