Richard Plepler, Finding the Next Great Voices in Storytelling

Published on10 AUG 2017

What’s the secret behind HBO’s ability to churn out hits from The Sopranos and Sex and the City to Game of Thrones and Veep? Culture, according to Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler – one that is focused on motivating and respecting employees from the top down. Here Plepler explains how creative content wins and why their entrepreneurial culture is key to making great television. 

On staying competitive in today’s content landscape: "Our brand is about the curation of quality. It is not about more being better. It's about better being better."

On why culture matters: “There’s two truths to every culture. There’s the putative truth…then there’s the emotional truth. The emotional truth is – what do people say when they go home at night, right? ‘Am I liberated? Can I grow? Do people want to hear what I have to say?  Is there really an opportunity to be heard?’ And if you have an emotional truth that honors those values, it is amazing the amount of energy that it catalyzes.”

On why he bet on Game of Thrones: "This [story] was just oozing out of them. They knew it. They felt it... Conversely, things that we've had that have not gone as well... have been thoughtful, and interesting, but they weren't viscerally magic."


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