Diane Nelson, the influential president of DC Entertainment and president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products who steered DC Comics publishing and other properties into a new era of success, has announced she will not be returning to the company after taking a leave of absence earlier this year.
Nelson and Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced in March that she would be taking a leave from the company to focus on spending time with her family, but she ultimately expected to return. Now, Nelson and Tsujihara have announced via The Hollywood Reporter that her departure is permanent. An exact reason for the departure was not announced.
"Warner Bros. has been my home for over 20 years with a wide variety of incredible professional experiences,” said Nelson in a statement. “The last nine — rebuilding and managing DC Entertainment — have been a particular highlight and privilege. With the support and talents of our staff and creators, I am proud to leave DC even stronger than when I joined it. I will miss everyone —particularly my executive management team — without whom none of our achievements could have been realized. And I am excited to take on my next professional adventure.”
In light of Nelson's departure from the company, DC Entertainment's key executives — including Dan DiDio (pictured above), Jim Lee (also above), Geoff Johns, and Amit Desai — will continue to be overseen by WB's chief digital officer and executive vp strategy and business development Thomas Dewecke. Pam Lifford will handle Warner Bros. consumer products, and report to Tsujihara.
Nelson's departure marks the end of 22 years with Warner Bros., the last nine of which she spent making major and often acclaimed changes at DC Entertainment. During her tenure as president, DC saw tremendous publishing changes that including the New 52 reboot in 2011 and the 2016 "Rebirth" launch. In that time the company also recruited and developed key talents — including current top writers like Scott Snyder and Tom King — and brought others into the fold, including John Romita Jr. and the much-publicized new arrival of Brian Michael Bendis.
Though the film division at DC has struggled, Nelson oversaw the long-awaited launch of Wonder Woman, her favorite character after years of development, and she had particular success with TV. Her tenure with the company saw DC working closely with Warner Bros. Television to launch the Arrowverse of several shows on The CW, as well as Gotham on Fox and other upcoming properties like the live-action Titans series. Marvel may be dominant on the big screen, but Nelson's influence made DC characters and properties a television force to be reckoned with, and they're not done yet.
So, while we don't yet know how quickly or dramatically things will change in the wake of Diane Nelson's departure, we do know that she will be missed at DC Entertainment.