HBO/HBO Max exec vice president and head of communications Karen Jones is exiting the company after 23 years, she announced in a memo to staffers on Thursday. Jones has been in this role since 2019, helping navigate HBO’s communications through ownership changes, the launch of HBO Max (which became part of her purview in 2020) and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This won’t come as a surprise to some of you, as I’ve spoken candidly about my desire to have a next chapter, to chase new dreams and start paying it forward with more intention,” Jones said in a note shared with her HBO colleagues. “Slowly, and then all at once, it was exactly the right time.
“It has been an incredible ride, and I’m tremendously grateful for all the adventures and to those with whom I’ve shared this journey. It’s the shoulder-to-the-wheel mindset that will always define us,” she added. “I send a full-throated cheer to the hardest-working media relations team. It has been my distinct privilege, and I have no doubt that you will continue to bring inspired, dauntless passion to the work that you do every day.”
Jones worked closely in her role with HBO/HBO Max content chairman/CEO Casey Bloys, who in a statement lauded the exec for being “the most thoughtful and insightful voice in the room. Over the past several years, she played a pivotal role in guiding us in the right direction through a period of transformation. She has been equally deft in leading the dynamic, talented team rolling out some of our most successful, award-winning programs. We are all sad she has decided to leave but have great respect for her desire to pursue a new path. We all wish her the best.”
As exec VP and head of communications, Jones oversaw publicity strategy for HBO and HBO Max’s slate, including teams in Los Angeles and New York. Before taking her current role in 2019 , Jones had served as senior VP of media relations at HBO, handling campaigns for programming including “Westworld,” “Lovecraft Country,” “Perry Mason,” “Silicon Valley,” “Chernobyl,” “Olive Kitteridge,” “The Pacific,” “The Normal Heart,” “Game Change” and more.
Jones first joined HBO in 1999. She’s also an executive committee member for the Television Academy’s public relations peer group, and has also served as a mentor for the Hollywood Radio & Television Society and the WICT Network Southern California chapter. She has also been a board member for the Stand Tall International nonprofit.
Before HBO, Jones served as a feature film unit publicist on releases such as “Beloved,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Amistad,” “Mars Attacks!,” “Geronimo: An American Legend,” “Set It Off,” “Devil in a Blue Dress,” “Clockers” and “Menace II Society.”