Finding the replacement for ousted Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara tops the mission of Warner Media’s CEO John Stankey who is rushing to Los Angeles.

According to reports, Stankey may announce an interim set up. He is said to be in favor of hiring a female executive for the top job after the interim unit takes over. Among the names speculated for CEO post include Stacey Snider as she is about to step down as chairman and CEO of 20th Century Films after Disney takes over Fox.

Tsujihara was fired from the Chairman and CEO post on Monday after allegations of sexual favors for an actress in lieu of acting opportunities under the company movies.

WarnerMedia was formed after AT&T’ took over Time Warner. Stankey is AT&T nominee for leading the entertainment business.

Interim trio likely

Most likely, Stankey may announce an interim arrangement Tuesday. It is speculated that the team may comprise Toby Emmerich, chief of Warner Bros motion pictures group, Peter Roth, Warner Bros television group president and another top executive.  

There is a strong possibility that the interim trio will also include a senior female executive. One name being mentioned is that of Carolyn Blackwood, co-president of Warner’s New Line Cinema unit.

While announcing Tsujihara’s departure, Stankey had mentioned the plan for an interim set-up.

In a memo to company staff, he said: “You have my commitment to work diligently and quickly to minimize any disruption in the day-to-day operations of the studio as a result of this leadership transition. I will share an interim leadership structure with all of you tomorrow.”

Allegations of the casting couch

An article in Hollywood Reporter put Tsujihara under a cloud over an affair with actress Charlotte Kirk and efforts made to get her work in Warners films and TV shows.

However, many observers say finding an immediate and permanent replacement for Tsujihara will be tough. As a veteran, he has handled many domains including film, TV, games, digital distribution, new media, young adults business, digital content, Turner Classic Movies, and consumer products development.

Stankey in a statement said Kevin acknowledged that his mistakes were “inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward.”

The executive search will pose a big challenge, noted Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Management.  GettyImages-Warner Ex CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros., actress Gal Gadot and Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Wonder Woman' at the Pantages Theatre on May 25, 2017 in Hollywood, California. Tsujihara was ousted on Monday following allegations involving sexual favours. Photo: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

“Tsujihara was settling into a broader strategic role and any replacement, inside or outside, will require at least a half a year to set the direction and place people into compatible roles and relationships,” Vogel said.

Vogel also blamed AT&T for lack of native knowledge in this type of hiring. Recent changes at HBO management bore this out as veteran execs knowing the nuts and bolts were missing from the revamped company’s top slots.