Quibi Loses Another Top Exec: Diane Nelson Exits as Head of Content Operations

Diane Nelson
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Diane Nelson, the former president of DC Entertainment who joined Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi as head of content operations, is leaving the mobile subscription-video startup after 10 months.

Nelson is the latest high-profile Quibi exec to leave the company recently — with her departure coming less than six months before the company is scheduled to launch its ambitious SVOD service in April 2020.

Tim Connolly, the former Hulu exec who joined Quibi last year as head of partnerships and advertising, left the company this summer. In September, Janice Min, previously the top editor at the Hollywood Reporter, exited Quibi where she had led the Daily Essentials daily news and information programming team.

“Diane Nelson has been a valued member of the team, helping us build a strong organization full of exceptional people,” Katzenberg said in a statement about her departure. “We wish her well and support her as she focuses on other priorities, and thank her for her many contributions to Quibi.”

Nelson’s exit was first reported by NBC News’ Dylan Byers.

In a memo to Quibi staff, which was shared with Variety, Nelson said she had decided resign her post as of the end of November for personal reasons. At DC Entertainment, Nelson had taken a leave of absence for family-related issues starting in March 2018 before she exited the studio that summer.

“When I left Warner Bros. last year after over two strong decades of work there, I made a commitment to prioritize several key aspects of my life — most importantly my family and friends,” Nelson wrote in the memo. “Unfortunately, that commitment was tested a bit sooner and more urgently than I might have liked.” Nelson said she will spend the next few months “to make sure the people I love are well and settled and then will turn my attention to my next chapter of life.”

Nelson had joined Quibi in early 2019 after more than two decades at Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment. Nelson was named head of DC in 2009, where she helped oversee the development of its TV projects, feature films, and video games with mixed results. Under her leadership, DC had been successful on the television side with popular shows like “Arrow” and “The Flash”; the studio’s film slate had hits including “Wonder Woman” but a number of misses including “Justice League.”

Quibi, led by Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, has greenlit a slew of original shows and set a launch date of April 6, 2020. The company has announced deals for programming designed for mobile viewing with partners including the Russo Brothers, Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwicke, Anna Kendrick, Doug Liman, Laurence Fishburne, Stephen Curry and Andy Samberg.

In her parting memo, Nelson said she would likely “move into semi-retirement” and not return full-time to the entertainment biz, although she mentioned the possibility of pursuing “board work for companies inside and outside of our industry.”

Nelson also praised her Quibi colleagues, writing that “I have never worked with a more impressive group of young people than those of you at Quibi. You are each remarkably talented and I have every faith that Quibi is going to be a great success.”

Prior to joining Quibi, Nelson spent 22 years at Warner Bros. in a variety of roles. Those included heading up the Harry Potter franchise for 12 years, reporting to Alan Horn, then WB’s EVP of domestic film marketing; corporate EVP of global brand management; and president of Warner Premiere. During her nine years as president of DC Entertainment, she also was president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment games division and president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, having responsibility for the three operating units simultaneously.