The man who helped bring Game of Thrones to the small screen is out at HBO. "Hard as it is to think about leaving the company I love, and the people I love in it, it is the right time for me to do so," Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler wrote in a letter to staff on Thursday. Plepler has been at the company for almost three decades, and has led it since 2013. The Wall Street Journal therefore describes his resignation as "a seismic event within HBO." To the Atlantic, it represents "the end of an era for an industry that has become less about quality control and more about tremendous scale."
CNBC reports Plepler would have had less autonomy as a result of AT&T's takeover of HBO parent company Time Warner, now dubbed WarnerMedia, amid an effort to scale up to compete with streaming giants like Netflix. HBO isn't the only media asset acquired by AT&T expecting a shakeup, however. David Levy, president of CNN parent company Turner, is to step down, too, reports the Journal. Plepler's departure, meanwhile, "will make HBO less of what it's always been and more of something else, yet to be defined," per the Hollywood Reporter. (Read more HBO stories.)