Diane Nelson, whose leadership as president of DC Entertainment and president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products has seen many changes at the company, is taking a leave of absence, THR reports, The leave starts April 2nd and has no end date. 

The moves was announced in a company email from WB head Kevin Tsujihara. DC Entertainment will continue to run under Dan DiDio, Jim Lee and Amit Desai,  all reporting to Biz Dev head Thomas Gewecke. 

You can read the memo below, but even as this news crossed my wire, I was about to write a story about a very curious social media post today by Geoff Johns, formerly the CCO at DC Entertainment, but not mentioned in the story about Nelson. And recet changes at DC Films have left Johns’ portfolio shrinking.


John and Nelson were very close during her tenure at the top. While who doesn’t like awesome Hulk art by Alex Ross (and the Hulk’s standalone movie rights are held by Universal, NOT Marvel/Disney), it seemed like an odd thing for a studio vet like Johns to post.

Perhaps the Johns version of a cornetto? 

Whatever that was all about, Nelson’s tenure at DC has seen many changes: the move to Burbank, a closer relationship with consumer products, and the integration of DC Seperhero Girls as one of the top brand launches in recent memory.

Nelson always been a thoughtful, thorough executive, and while leaving to spend time with your family always sounds a bit ominous, I know many in the industry hope she’ll return.


Here’s Tsujihara’s email:

Dear Colleagues:

Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment and President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, has decided to take time off starting Monday, April 2. After 22 years with the company, she wants to recharge, as well as have immediate and uninterrupted time with her family. This is her decision and the entire senior management team and I support this, and will help facilitate it as follows:

– The DC Executive Management team will report to Thomas Gewecke (Chief Digital Officer and EVP, Strategy and Business Development) in the interim

– Pam Lifford will report to me in the interim

Diane continues to be an important member of the Warner Bros. family and has worked on many of our most iconic properties. She has contributed greatly to the company’s successes, and we look forward to her returning to the Studio.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your management team, Thomas or me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your support and continued commitment to excellence in everything we do.

Best regards,



  1. I have no idea what Diane Nelson is responsible for and what her superiors at WB are responsible for, but I think strategically DC has done a good job of repositioning itself during her tenure. Things like:

    • The DC Super-Hero Girls (I think that’s what it’s called)

    • The DC Bombshells

    • The new DC Black Label imprint

    • The Justice League Action series and Teen Titans Go (neither of which I personally care for but both of which seem to be hitting their target audience)

    • The DC streaming service, DC All Access on YouTube

    • The DC CW shows (again, none of which appeal to me but which the target audience seems to love)

    • The New 52 (which I think was a good idea but was only marginally successful)

    • The DCEU films (which I loved (MoS, BvS, and WW) and hated (SS and JL).

    Strategically it’s all positioning the company really well to appeal to multiple sectors of the audience so that no one product offering has to appeal to everyone (which seems to be Disney’s strategy with Marvel). Instead, each product offering can appeal to a niche audience which collectively gives DC a broad audience. Which is why I think WB management was mistaken in their belief that the DCEU films had to reach MCU-level numbers to be considered successful. If the other content streams were successfully reaching the parts of the audience that were turned off by the DCEU films, the films could have been successful as a “niche” or “boutique” film brand that consistently grossed $750 to $850 million (which I know is ridiculous to refer to something bringing in a quarter-billion dollars as “niche”).

    It’s in the execution that her tenure has been wobbly. Like I said, a line-wide reboot was a really good idea. The execution of the the New 52, though, was (with the exception of The Flash, Brian Hitch’s JLA, and Cliff Chiang’s Wonder Woman) pretty uniformly terrible. The same with the DCEU. When the Snyders and their team were in charge the output was amazing (I recognize this is not a popular opinion on this site), but when WB management got involved (SS and JL) the output was beyond terrible.

    I personally don’t think she’s been served well by her leadership team under her. I think they’re the ones who were operationally responsible for the execution on much of the above, and where that execution faltered it was because they’re too old school and too fanboy-ish in their thinking. What she needs is someone like Mark Chiarello, Bruce Timm, and, yes, the Snyders in charge of the different media types (comics, television, and film respectively) to challenge the status quo and up the ante on what gets produced.

    Regarding the Geoff Johns bit in the story above, I personally think he’s part of the problem. I’ve never met him and I’m sure he’s a really nice guy, but the comics he produces are very insular and not very well written, and the films he’s been involved with (Green Lantern, Justice League, and (I’m guessing) the upcoming Shazam) have been uniformly terrible (in regards to Shazam, it’s obviously not been released yet but it looks terrible), and he’s been the common denominator in all of them.

  2. When ever a corporation sends out an email about one of the Senior Management and includes “spend more time with the family” that means the person was left not on their own. I’ve been through 3 CEO’s and 6 America VPS and they all “left to spend more time with their family”

  3. “each product offering can appeal to a niche audience which collectively gives DC a broad audience.”

    That’s…not how it works. Starz has a bunch of shows that appeal to niche audiences but HBO had a broad audience.


  4. She killed it running Harry Potter, so she deserves all the respect and admiration in the world. But the DCEU has not performed as hoped and that means changes regardless of how good someone is at their job.

  5. I don’t see the physicality of the Hulk being too much of a stretch for Johns to find affinity with as, although he’s lost some muscle bulk recently, the guy must have been putting in some serious hours of resistance/weight training at the gym for a few years there. Gym junkies and Hulks.

    Can’t say much about Nelson other than her name has been one among those exec/VP/etc names in the smallprint credits of DC comics for a very long time.

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