As David Zaslav prepared to take over Warner Bros. Discovery Inc., one of the largest media companies in the world, he told friends in Hollywood that he would hire the best people he could find. Gender and racial diversity, while a factor, would not be his top priority, he said, according to multiple people he told.
His methods have resulted in a notable amount of homogeneity at the top of the new media giant. Given six seats on the new company’s board, Zaslav and Discovery appointed a roster of all White male directors. The majority of the chief executive officer’s 13 direct reports, many of whom were recent hires, are White men. Meanwhile, Zaslav in April fired Warner Bros. chief Ann Sarnoff, one of the highest-ranking women in Hollywood — without filling her role — and replaced WarnerMedia’s heads of communications and finance with White men from Discovery.