AT&T’s plans for its new streaming service, HBO Max, are “off to a rocky start” due to internal politics, reports The New York Post.
Some insiders are blaming their new boss, John Stankey, CEO of AT&T’s entertainment division, WarnerMedia, according to the Post.
The sources complained that Stankey — formerly AT&T’s chief strategy officer and leader of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and DirecTV — was angered by HBO execs’ asking questions about the plan for HBO Max (question-asking supposedly being a cultural penchant at HBO) — and “thinks he knows a lot more about the business than he does.”
Some also expressed concern about why there were no women in WarnerMedia's top management, according to the report.
“Stankey supporters note that he replaced Tsujihara with Ann Sarnoff, a former president of BBC Studios America, who is now the first woman to run Warner Bros. They also point to other female execs who report to Stankey, including Priya Dogra, whom he promoted to executive vice president of strategy and corporate development, and Christy Haubegger, whom he hired as chief enterprise inclusion officer.”
The company declined to comment on the story, except for a spokesperson’s statement on the gender aspect: “Regarding women in leadership positions, we’ve made significant progress in the last 12 months across the company and we’re committed to continuing to do so.”