Soon after a sweeping courtroom victory in 2018 cleared the way for AT&T’s $100 billion takeover of Time Warner, John Stankey, AT&T’s chief operating officer and the newly anointed chief executive of Warner Media, summoned his top Warner Media executives to a meeting at the Time Warner Center off Columbus Circle.
They included Kevin Tsujihara, the head of the Warner Bros. movie studio; Richard Plepler, the head of HBO; and Jeff Zucker, CNN’s chief executive. Mr. Stankey handed them a typed document titled “Operating Cadence and Style,” and sat there while they read it. The memo was two pages, single-spaced, and the silence stretched for what seemed an excruciating length.
The document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, told them how to approach and interact with their new boss. Accustomed as they were to emailing, texting or calling Time Warner’s previous chief executive, Jeff Bewkes, pretty much any time of the day or night, such a directive had never proved necessary. Now their dismay mounted.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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