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This executive who just resigned was in charge of HBO's streaming platforms — HBO GO and HBO Now

Key Points
  • Bernadette Aulestia, HBO's president of global distribution, will be leaving HBO after 22 years.
  • AT&T is changing the way HBO is distributed by rolling it up with other Turner cable channels.
  • Aulestia's departure follows the resignation of HBO CEO Richard Plepler last month.
Recipient of Woman to Watch Award Bernadette Aulestia speaks onstage at 2015 WICT Touchstones Luncheon in New York City.
Larry Busacca | Getty Images

HBO's president of global distribution, Bernadette Aulestia, has announced her resignation, according to an internal memo obtained by CNBC.

Her resignation follows that of HBO CEO Richard Pleper, who stepped down last month after realizing he would no longer have the autonomy to run the premium channel, which is part of Warner Media. AT&T hired John Stankey in 2017 to run all of Warner Media's operations after the wireless company acquired Time Warner for $85 billion.

Aulestia joined HBO 22 years ago and has worked in a variety of different positions at the entertainment company. Named executive vice president of global distribution in 2015, she oversaw both of the company's streaming services, HBO Now and HBO Go.

"I won't be joining you on this next journey of the new company," Aulestia wrote in her note to HBO employees on March 15. "Sometimes, you have to take time to read the guideposts and trust your heart, and my time has come."

Aulestia plans to stay with HBO in the "next few months" to help transition new leadership. An HBO spokesperson confirmed the memo. Aulestia could not immediately be reached for comment.

AT&T finalized its acquisition of Time Warner last month after the Department of Justice lost its appeal to block the $85 billion transaction. Since then, several veteran Time Warner executives have left, including Plepler, Turner Broadcasting president David Levy, and Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down on Monday amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

AT&T is rolling up HBO with cable networks TNT, TBS, and truTV under newly appointed WarnerMedia entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. While HBO has previously distributed itself as a solo entity, AT&T plans to combine HBO with other offerings and streaming packages in a service that will launch later this year. Aulestia's departure may foreshadow more changes to the distribution group, which could be seen as antiquated in the new AT&T regime.

Meanwhile, HBO and AT&T's other streaming services will face a lot more competition soon on top of the current players like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon's Prime video. Apple is expected to announce its TV streaming service at an event on March 25, and NBCUniversal will launch its service in 2020.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, is CNBC's parent company.

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