Honoree: Jackie Hayes

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In-house counsel 2023

Executive Vice President of Legal for Studios & Networks
Warner Bros. Discovery
Harvard Law School

For 25 years, Jackie Hayes has played a vital role in shepherding the legal team for one of Hollywood’s most iconic and oldest-running studios. As Executive Vice President of Legal for Studios & Networks at Warner Bros. Discovery, she provides strategic counsel to the company’s leaders. Based in Los Angeles, she reports to Savalle Sims, general counsel of Warner Bros. Discovery.

Hayes’ legacy WarnerMedia team navigated the intricate legal landscape surrounding AT&T’s sale of WarnerMedia assets to Discovery, Inc. to form the new company, Warner Bros. Discovery. In a process that began in May 2021, she worked with legacy Discovery teams to achieve critical milestones and develop an integration process to bring the two companies together to create the premier, standalone global entertainment powerhouse.

In April of 2022, upon completion of the merger, Hayes’ purview was expanded and now includes oversight of the legal function for Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, the HBO and HBO Max programming units, as well as the Turner and Discovery Networks and programming units. She also supports the Worldwide Theatrical Distribution & Marketing, Warner Bros. Global Brands & Experiences, and the WB Games business units.

Prior to her role at Warner Bros. Discovery, Hayes served as executive vice president and general counsel of WarnerMedia Entertainment where in 2020 she was instrumental in launching the industry’s newest streaming platform, HBO Max, during a pandemic nonetheless. Named to this role in August 2019, she was responsible for all of WarnerMedia Entertainment’s legal affairs, including the linear businesses of HBO, TNT, TBS, and truTV, as well as Otter Media and HBO Max.

Joining Warner Home Video in 1998, Hayes provided legal support for the then-nascent DVD business. She went on to become a primary legal steward of Warner Bros.’ transactional and subscription digital businesses - leading the first content clearance, digital licensing, and content protection initiatives for the online distribution of Warner Bros. titles - and was eventually named senior vice president and general counsel of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in 2015. Hayes obtained her Juris Doctorate at Harvard Law School.