Longtime Creative Artists Agency executive Christy Haubegger is joining WarnerMedia in a high-profile role to focus on diversity and inclusion at a time when entertainment leaders face persistent questions about the lack of prominent women behind the camera and in executive jobs.
“We know we must make strategic investments, build a more representative workforce, and create a truly inclusive culture,” WarnerMedia Chief Executive John Stankey said in a statement Wednesday that announced Haubegger’s hiring.
She becomes an executive vice president and chief enterprise inclusion officer at WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T. This year, Stankey faced pointed questions from Warner Bros. employees about the lack of diversity in top management after the departure of Warner Bros. Chairman Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down following disclosures of an inappropriate sexual relationship with an actress.
Such questions, presented in a town hall meeting in March, appeared to catch top WarnerMedia executives off guard. After the meeting, Stankey — a longtime AT&T executive who took over the WarnerMedia properties in June 2018 — sent a memo to employees saying he would create a new position to address diversity and inclusion.
“While we already have some of the most talented women and diverse executives in the industry, we have more work to do,” Stankey said in the March email, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Haubegger becomes one of the highest-ranking women on Stankey’s executive team. “Christy is a business leader and an innovator whose commitment to inclusion, industry reputation and diversity experience is second-to-none,” Stankey said in the Wednesday announcement.
Hollywood is still grappling with inequities in management and top behind-the-camera roles nearly two years after the Harvey Weinstein scandal forced the industry to take a hard look at its practices. Last fall, WarnerMedia announced that it was crafting a diversity and inclusion policy, particularly when it came to making sure a diverse slate of actors, directors, producers and crew members were considered for film and television projects.
WarnerMedia includes HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and the Warner Bros. film and television studio.
WarnerMedia also is considering several experienced female candidates to replace Tsujihara at Warner Bros., according to knowledgeable people who were not authorized to comment.
Much of Haubegger’s work will be ensuring that WarnerMedia promotes women and people of color.
“I’m excited to join WarnerMedia and to further build on the bold commitments to inclusion that the company has already made,” Haubegger said in a statement distributed by the company. “I look forward to continuing to propel change and innovation in our industry by expanding opportunities for under-represented groups.”
Haubegger is a Stanford Law School graduate. She founded Latina magazine in 1996 and segued into entertainment in 2002, working as a producer on such films as “Chasing Papi” and Oscar winner James L. Brooks’ romantic comedy “Spanglish.”
She worked at CAA for 14 years and led the agency’s efforts to help advance women and people of color. She helped launch CAA Amplify to bring together leading multicultural artists and business leaders as well as compile a database of television writers of color.