Amazon Names NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke to Head Amazon Studios

02/09/18 02:16 PM EST

Amazon.com Inc. has tapped NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke as head of Amazon Studios, its movie and television unit, succeeding Roy Price, who resigned amid public allegations that he engaged in sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior toward a producer.

At Amazon, Ms. Salke, 53 years old, will oversee a deep-pocketed and ambitious online video service with an annual budget of more than $4.5 billion, according to people at the company.

Its best known television series include "Transparent," "The Tick" and "Bosch." Its most successful films have been "The Big Sick" and Oscar winner "Manchester by the Sea." However Amazon has struggled to find broadly popular hits like HBO's "Game of Thrones" and Netflix Inc.'s "Stranger Things."

Among the challenges facing Ms. Salke will be improving relations with the creative community, some of whom criticized the way Amazon operated during Mr. Price's seven-year tenure. Several producers expressed frustration at what they called creative interference by Amazon executives, often leading to production delays and greater expenses. David E. Kelley, who created the legal drama "Goliath" for Amazon told The Wall Street Journal last fall that the company is "in way over their heads."

"What stood out about Jen was the deep relationships she has nurtured with creators and talent over her career," Jeffrey Blackburn, the Seattle-based Amazon executive to whom Ms. Salke will report, said in a statement. "She's built an impeccable reputation as a big leader who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and teamwork."

Since Mr. Price left in October, Amazon Studios has been overseen by Chief Operating Officer Albert Cheng, whose background is primarily in technology and digital media.

(More to Come)

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 09, 2018 14:16 ET (19:16 GMT)

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