HBO's McGee Steps Down31 Jan, 2013 By: Thomas K. Arnold
In a surprise announcement, HBO’s longtime home entertainment president, Henry McGee, is stepping down from the post he’s held since 1995 to become a full-time faculty member at Harvard Business School, beginning this fall.
Sofia Chang effective March 4 becomes the division’s new leader as EVP and GM, reporting to Simon Sutton, president of HBO International and Content Distribution.
At Harvard, McGee will be a senior lecturer, teaching courses and conducting research in leadership and business ethics. He is a 34-year veteran of HBO and became president of its home video division, now called HBO Home Entertainment, in 1995. McGee’s tenure at HBO included stints in HBO Film Acquisitions, Cinemax, HBO Family Programming, HBO Enterprises and Thorn EMI/HBO Video (now HBO Home Entertainment). Before joining HBO, McGee worked for three years as a reporter for Newsweek magazine in its New York and Washington, D.C., bureaus. McGee has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
“Henry McGee represents the very best of what HBO has to offer when it comes to leadership, collaboration and innovation,” Eric Kessler, president and COO of HBO, said in a statement. “He is one of the most well-regarded people working in the home entertainment industry today. To our great benefit, Henry has mentored countless other HBO leaders, such as Sofia Chang, who will continue to drive the division toward excellence in her new role.”
“Thirty-four years ago I came to HBO from Harvard eager to apply all that I had learned in business school,” McGee said. “I just turned 60 and now seems the ideal time to return to Harvard to share all of the skills and knowledge I have learned from working with my colleagues at HBO, the Dream Team of the entertainment industry.”
McGee is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Minorities in Communications and was named one of New York's top 100 minority executives by Crain's New York Business. He also has been elected a fellow of England's RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce). He’s received the “Industry Giant” award from the Vision Fund of America, a Professional Achievement Award from the Harvard Business School African-American Alumni Association and a “Visionary” award from the Video Industry AIDS Action Committee. He has been named one of the 50 most powerful African-Americans in the entertainment business by Black Enterprise magazine and inducted into the Video Hall of Fame.
McGee is president of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation, and is also a director of the Time Warner Foundation, the Black Filmmaker Foundation and Save the Children. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a director of the Digital Entertainment Group. McGee also sits on the board of directors of AmerisourceBergen.
His wife is a journalist and his daughter is currently a graduate student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Chang assumes the video unit’s top spot a year after being promoted to her current post of SVP of program strategy and planning, in which she’s responsible for overseeing the program strategy, audience research and promotion planning and scheduling areas for HBO and Cinemax. Chang joined HBO in 2000 in the home entertainment division and has since held various positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to HBO, Chang was a brand advertising manager for Pacific Bell in San Francisco. Previously, she worked in account management at the ad agencies Kirshenbaum and Bond and TBWA, both based in New York City, where she managed the Snapple and Evian accounts.
Chang has been honored by Home Media Magazine as one of the top “Women in Home Entertainment” for five years.