Warner Film Chief Robinov to Exit After Shuffle, Deadline Says

Warner Bros. Pictures President Jeff Robinov is stepping down from the studio, the website Deadline.com reported, becoming the second top executive to leave after a management shuffle.

Robinov is seeking to negotiate his exit after being shut out of major decisions, Deadline.com reported yesterday. The Hollywood Reporter also carried the story. He has worked for the studio in various roles since 1997.

The departure follows the January appointment of home video chief Kevin Tsujihara as Warner Bros.’ chief executive officer after parent Time Warner (TWX) Inc. set up a three-way competition to replace Barry Meyer. If he leaves, Robinov, 54, would follow former TV head Bruce Rosenblum, who was also was in the running for the top job and quit in May.

Sue Fleishman, a Warner Bros. spokeswoman, didn’t respond to phone or e-mail requests for comment.

The film executive’s departure comes as Warner Bros. is basking in the early success of “Man of Steel,” a Superman remake that collected $116.6 million in its U.S. opening last weekend to mark the second-biggest movie debut of the year. Sales suggest the Burbank, California-based studio has found a new superhero franchise to replace “The Dark Knight” Batman series that ended last year.

Robinov is poised to depart as Warner Bros. seeks to renegotiate a production and financing deal with Legendary Entertainment, a partner of the studio’s on films including the “Man of Steel,” “The Dark Knight” and “Inception.”

Testy Relationship

Robinov has had a testy relationship with Legendary Chief Executive Officer Thomas Tull, people familiar with the matter have said. Tull praised Tsujihara without mentioning Robinov in a meeting with reporters this week.

Legendary announced on June 17 that it hired Rosenblum to lead the studio’s fledging television and digital production business.

Robinov, Rosenblum and Tsujihara were named by Time Warner in 2010 to a newly formed office of the president, a de facto competition to replace CEO Meyer, who remains chairman.

Time Warner, also owner of HBO and CNN, fell 2.7 percent to $56.32 yesterday in New York. It has advanced 18 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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