Pamela Lifford is done at DC Comics who took over as President of DC Comics back in 2019 following Geoff Johns and Diane Nelson stepping down as co-presidents of DC Entertainment.
Deadline reports on the news as parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, who I have been told has plans to sell which would include DC Comics, is restructuring its Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences division following the departure of its president, Pam Lifford (her full title was: President, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences, with responsibility for Warner Bros. Consumer Products, DC, Themed Entertainment and a new Global Franchise team).
The division oversees worldwide consumer products, themed entertainment, and franchise management, and includes DC Comics businesses.
According to Warner Bros. Discovery, Pam Lifford is stepping down to focus on a family member’s healthcare needs. She first joined WB back in 2016 as President of Consumer Products.
“When I joined the company back in 2016, we set out on a mission to transform the division and how WB thought about fans. Today, our team owns franchises, products, in-person experiences, and DC, and keeps our global consumers engaged in our IP 24/7. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together,” she said in the announcement.
Bruce Campbell, WBD’s chief revenue and strategy officer, said, “Pam is an extraordinary leader and unique in the entertainment industry. She’s brought tremendous value and thought leadership to the company over the years, and while we wish she were staying on, we understand and appreciate the commitment to family first. She put a tremendous team in place, and I look forward to what we will do together.”
Full announcement below.
A rocky road
Regarding her time at DC Comics, following her appointment in 2019, DC started to lay off 3 percent of its workforce and continued to do so well into 2023.
As Bleeding Cool notes, Pam Lifford was also responsible for firing Dan DiDio, Bob Harras, Adam Philips, Fletcher Chu-Fong, Michele R Wells, Alex Carr, Stuart Schreck, Mark Doyle, Bobbie Chase, Andy Khouri, Brian Cunningham, Hank Kalanz, Mark Chiarello, John Cunningham, Mark Chiarello, Jonah Weiland, Eddie Scannell, Jim Sokolowski, Dan Evans III, Sara Jaskell, Sandy Resnick, Vince Letterio, and more.
DC Comics also lost its swanky office space when WBD took over in 2022, and there have been all kinds of rumors including that DC Comics could get shut down or merged with another company.
Worth a mention is that Warner Bros. recently gave a slew of its popular franchises including ThunderCats to another comic book company to publish and not DC Comics.
Recently at the NYCC also saw Geoff Johns and a group of high-profile comic book creators leave DC and form their own company.
Regarding what I have been told about Warner Bros Discovery selling, I was first told by insiders at the 2022 Comic-Con that CEO David Zaslav wants to sell. Then at this Summer’s SDCC, I was told that Zaslav wants to sell hopefully to Universal. I was also told Zaslav is hoping Universal would break up the sale so he can retain control of Discovery. Of course, if WBD gets sold off, DC Comics goes with it, but where is currently anybody’s guess.
DC Comics seems to be in such a state of disarray, that I recently tweeted I am guessing it will get sold (or licensed out by whoever owns it next).
Here is the official announcement about the departure of Pamela Lifford:
Warner Bros. Discovery Sets New Leadership For Global Consumer Products And Franchises
GBFE President Pam Lifford announces her departure to focus on family.
Longtime European Consumer Products head Julian Moon announces retirement.
New Global Franchise Organization to be developed.
Bruce Campbell, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, announced a new global structure for Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences (GBFE), the division that comprises WBD’s worldwide consumer products, themed entertainment, franchise management and development, and DC Comics businesses.
The changes were made today following the decision of Pam Lifford, President of Global Brands, Franchises, and Experiences to step back from her role to focus on her family member’s healthcare needs. Lifford reports to Campbell, and the new leaders named will all be direct reports to him:
Robert Oberschelp will become the new Head of Global Consumer Products. Oberschelp currently leads North America consumer products for WBD and is a well-respected licensing industry veteran. He has over 30 years in the industry including time at NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, Williams-Sonoma, and Quicksilver.
Preston Kevin Lewis, Head of Consumer Products for Latin America and Retail Management for the Americas will add responsibility for North America Consumer Products as well, reporting to Oberschelp.
Julian Moon, Head of Consumer Products for EMEA and Asia Pacific, announced his retirement in 2024 after 33 years at the company. In the coming months, he will report to Oberschelp and work with him and WBD leadership on succession plans.
Peter van Roden, Head of Global Themed Entertainment, will continue in his role leading the licensed location-based entertainment, theme parks, and in-person experiences businesses. His team manages the strategic partnership with Universal Destinations & Experiences for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” and oversees Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and The WB Abu Dhabi, as well as global experiences inspired by the Wizarding World, DC, Looney Tunes, Scooby-Doo, Game of Thrones, FRIENDS and more.
Campbell also announced he will recruit a new Global Head of Franchise who will work closely with Campbell and the senior creative leadership team at WBD. This new leader will be responsible for developing the Company’s global IP portfolio across all businesses at WBD, working closely with the respective leadership of Film, Television, Games, and others.
Lifford joined Warner Bros. in 2016 as President of Consumer Products and is credited with developing the organization into a global, franchise-based business while increasing revenues 5-fold during that time. She announced her decision to step back and focus on her family during an all-hands meeting on the WB Lot in Burbank. “When I joined the company back in 2016, we set out on a mission to transform the division and how WB thought about fans. Today, our team owns franchises, products, in-person experiences, DC, and keeps our global consumers engaged in our IP 24/7. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished together,” Lifford said, adding, “Today, the group is poised to take all of this forward with the new leadership across the studio and company. You will soar and make WBD unrivaled in the industry.” Bruce Campbell said, “Pam is an extraordinary leader and unique in the entertainment industry. She’s brought tremendous value and thought leadership to the company over the years, and while we wish she were staying on, we understand and appreciate the commitment to family first. She put a tremendous team in place, and I look forward to what we will do together.”
The changes announced are effective November 27.