HBO director ‘sad to see’ Richard Plepler go

HBO premiered its new Theranos documentary, “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” in New York on Thursday, an hour after news broke that its veteran chairman and CEO was out at the upscale cable network.

“We just learned on the way up here that he was leaving,” director Alex Gibney said of Richard Plepler, who was with HBO for 27 years.

“It’s a sad night, as this is the last night of the Richard Plepler regime at HBO. It’s terribly sad to see Richard go. He’s an extraordinary executive, a good friend and a tremendous impresario . . . He was very much a part of making this happen.”

At a dinner at Porter House after the screening, a prime table was reserved with Plepler’s name. But the exec did not show.

A source said that the news Plepler was exiting — amid AT&T’s Time Warner takeover — was meant to break at 1 p.m., but when the timetable moved to past 5, he was unable to attend the event. Reports have said WarnerMedia’s in talks with ex-head of NBC Entertainment Bob Greenblatt to oversee HBO, Turner and a streaming service.

Plepler’s last hurrahs are still to come: We hear he plans to appear at upcoming premieres for the final seasons of hits “Veep” and “Game of Thrones” before ceding his own throne.

Plepler got a hearty round of applause when Gibney mentioned him at “The Inventor” premiere, where the crowd included executive producer Graydon Carter, CNN boss Jeff Zucker, Tina Brown and Candice Bergen, as well as John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal reporter behind the book about Theranos, “Bad Blood.”

A top HBO staffer told us of the Plepler departure, “We knew this was in the cards. Everyone knew it was going to happen, but it’s still sad.”

Far from the Midtown premiere of the film on disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, 35, reports this week said the onetime wunderkind is now living in a luxury San Francisco apartment and engaged to a 27-year-old hotel heir and tech exec named Billy Evans, even as she faces allegations of criminal fraud.

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