EXCLUSIVE: Chris Spadaccini, who spent two decades at HBO and became WarnerMedia Entertainment’s chief marketing officer in 2019, is exiting the company.
His departure comes as WarnerMedia continues to undergo significant reshaping at the direction of CEO Jason Kilar, the former Hulu CEO and Amazon executive who took over in the spring.
Spadaccini spearheaded campaigns for shows like Watchmen and Succession, which led HBO to a dominant showing at Sunday night’s Emmys. Through his run at HBO, he also won awards and accolades for elaborate positioning of shows like Game of Thrones as well as network brand awareness initiatives.
HBO Max was also an important part of Spadaccini’s purview over the last part of his 21-year tenure. The streaming service has not gained much traction since launching May 27, attracting 4.1 million signups in its first month, though parent company AT&T says it is on pace to hit its five-year financial targets.
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WarnerMedia Entertainment, the organization headed by former chairman Bob Greenblatt, was formally dissolved as a unit of WarnerMedia over the summer. Greenblatt departed the company in August along with HBO Max content chief Kevin Reilly and others in a wide-scale reorg. Spadaccini’s duties, accordingly, will be parceled out to several areas of the company.
“My 21 years at HBO have been nothing short of an extraordinary experience,” Spadaccini said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to lead a marketing team that consistently sets the standard for excellence across the industry. I am filled with enormous gratitude for the opportunity to have supported the vision of some of the world’s greatest storytellers and to have shaped the image of the HBO brand, which continues to be the gold standard in television.”
HBO programming chief Casey Bloys recalled that Flight of the Conchords was one of the first shows he worked on with Spadaccini. “That was 15 years ago and I have been in awe of his endless creativity ever since,” Bloys said. “The Sopranos, Veep, Game of Thrones as well as this year’s big Emmy winner Watchmen is just a short list of his and his team’s iconic campaigns. He elevated the HBO brand as the leader of marketing and I look forward to seeing what he does next.”
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