1 of 2 | One day after vowing to continue to fight to win over newsroom employees, CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht resigned Wednesday, effective immediately. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
June 7 (UPI) -- One day after vowing to continue to "fight like hell" to win over newsroom employees, CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht resigned Wednesday, effective immediately.
The news network's parent company Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed Licht's departure in a statement
The 51-year-old leaves after a lengthy feature piece about him published in The Atlantic last week.
That story portrayed Licht, who was in his first year on the job, in an unflattering light. In it, the former producer of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert comes off as indecisive and unsure of certain news strategies when covering important topics.
Licht also has previously been critical of the channel's reporting before he officially came on board in May of last year. Licht's criticism of CNN's coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic did not sit well with its health unit. Late last year, he also dismissed several long-time on-air personalities, which received widespread criticism in the news industry.
On Tuesday, Licht held a virtual town hall meeting with CNN employees to repair the damage and attempt to mend fences.
"I want to say that I've spent the weekend doing a lot of thinking," Licht, a former vice president at CBS said during that meeting.
It didn't work, according to the story, which quotes several CNN newsroom staff anonymously.
"Too little, too late," one told CNN reporter Oliver Darcy.
"We don't want his office relocated to the 18th floor, we want it relocated out of the building," said another, after Licht on Tuesday pledged to move his executive office closer to the newsroom.
The network's top anchors and executives reportedly reached out to CNN's new Chief Operating Officer David Leavy over the weekend, as well as Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav.
"I have great respect for Chris, personally and professionally," Zaslav said in Wednesday's statement announcing Licht's immediate departure.
"The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy, especially at a time of huge disruption and transformation, and he has poured his heart and soul into it. While we know we have work to do as we look to identify a new leader, we have absolute confidence in the team we have in place and will continue to fight for CNN and its world class journalism."