Discovery Communications has announced that founder John Hendricks will retire as chairman of the company's board of directors and as a director of the board.
Hendricks launched the Discovery Channel, the first cable network in the United States, in 1985 and pioneered the launch of digital networks in the 1990s, launching the first 24/7 basic cable HD channel, Discovery HD Theater, in 2002. He will remain in his current position through the annual meeting of shareholders on 16 May.
"Few words can appropriately convey what kind of person John is, or what he has meant to this company and the cable television industry overall," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery. "He is a true visionary, a man of enormous integrity and one of the world's great entrepreneurs. On behalf of the 5,600 employees of Discovery Communications, I want to thank John for all that he has done, and all that he has stood for, as founder and chairman of Discovery for more than 30 years, and believing the world needed a different kind of media company – a purpose-driven media company."