Long-time Warner Bros Entertainment executive vice president and general counsel John Schulman is retiring after a 25-year career at the studio.

Schulman joined Warner Bros in 1984 as vice president and general counsel and set about building the studio's in-house legal department. Five years later he was promoted to senior vice president and general counsel and he has served as executive vice president and general counsel since 1991.

'Warner Bros has been my home for a quarter of a century, and it would be disingenuous for me to portray this as anything other than an arduous decision,' Schulman said. 'Many years ago, I was given the task of creating, staffing and building what has turned out to be what I believe is the best legal department in our industry, and dare I say, one of the best in any industry.

'I am honoured to have been a part of this company at a time of rapid change and challenge, but I am truly ready to begin the next chapter and look forward to the new adventures that lie ahead. I thank all my colleagues, both past and present, who have made my time at Warner Bros not only enjoyable, but something I can truly be proud of.'

'There are very few people who become forces in our industry,' Warner Bros chairman and CEO Barry M Meyer said. 'John Schulman is one of them. There are also few executives in our industry with a heart as big as John's. He is a terrific lawyer, strong advocate, a dedicated and generous philanthropist, and a great friend. Everyone at Warner Bros will miss John. We all wish him well in this next chapter of his career.'

A replacement is expected to be announced in the next few days.