Tim Warner is retiring as Cinemark’s chief executive officer after two decades at the country’s third biggest theater chain.
He will be replaced by Mark Zoradi, the former chief operating officer of DreamWorks Animation. Warner has been named the company’s executive vice chairman and has agreed to remain involved on a consulting basis.
Prior to working at DreamWorks, Zoradi was president and chief operating officer at the entertainment startup Dick Cook Studios. He also spent 30 years at Disney, rising to president of its motion picture group.
As head of Cinemark, Warner was known for an avuncular manner and shrewd business judgment. The company boasts 503 theaters and 5,720 screens in the U.S. and Latin America, and has put a greater emphasis on foreign holdings than U.S. rivals like Regal. The company has experimented with premium seating — part of an industry-wide push that includes replacing older chairs with recliners that carry a higher ticket price — and has invested heavily in premium large-format locations — a company-owned and operated version of Imax-style theaters.
Under Warner, Cinemark bought several movie theater chains, including Rave Cinemas and Century Theatres. His exit is the second departure this summer among the top ranks of major exhibitors. In July, AMC Theatres CEO Gerry Lopez left the company to take charge of Extended Stay.