CEO of unpopular decisions or Warner Bros.' own Kevin Feige? Time will tell.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has already gained fame as a questionable leader for the studio. Despite his ambitions to make the DCEU the new Marvel, it seems that currently, the cinematic universe has only seen cancellations and financial losses.
After Zaslav announced that the company is going to have $3 billion in cuts – without specifying the details – Warner Bros. has lost $2.39 billion in market cap since Friday afternoon. Now if things are going according to plan, people think that it might be time for Zaslav to elaborate on the plan itself, or else it kind of looks like a failure.
Following the cancellation of 'Batgirl', spiced up with a lack of action on 'The Flash' despite the movie being mired in the Ezra Miller controversy, fans have been fuming about Zaslav and his management style.
Since the beginning of Warner Bros. Discovery stocks trading in April, the stock is down 50%. According to Animation News, Zaslav is "getting lots of blame" for what is happening with the company. And while some people argue that he inherited the firm in a bad place already, it doesn't look like fans are ready to feel for him.
"He didn't "inherit" anything. Discovery bought Warner Brothers in a leveraged buyout (taking on a huge debt to make the deal). AT&T had its own debt problems (similarly related to acquisition debt not operations). HBO Max itself was a well-run streamer that exceeded expectations." – @ChrisLaPuma
The list of Zaslav's miscalculations is quite long, according to fans.
"The problem isn't that he's trying desperately to solve the companies and list death problem. The problem is he's doing in such a callus, heartless, despicable manner. Complete disregard for the humanity of the situation. No transparency or communications." – @AcunaAndrew
He is receiving even more hate online in the wake of the most recent cancellations of several animation projects, among which are 'DRIFTWOOD' (initially set to become the first original movie produced by Cartoon Network Studios for HBO Max), '200 Sesame Street', and 'Infinity Train'. This caused outrage from animation fans, especially in light of no alternatives being presented to replace the ditched projects.
"I'm no business major, but here's a thought. Warner Bros had a rich history of produced fictional and scripted media. Maybe it's a bad idea to have a put a guy in charge when he has repeatedly said he thinks scripted media is "a fad." Doesn't sound like he's the man for the job." – @rainzacket
Things would have been more optimistic for Zaslav if he had presented a credible strategy, some people argue. However, the only comment about the rocky transition process he offered was the following:
"[The transition team] worked on what we're going to do day one, what are we doing [the] first 30 days. It's not perfect. We don't know exactly how it's going to work," he said.