WME partner Lisa Harrison is plotting her next chapter.
The 16-year agency veteran is departing to spend time traveling with friends, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. She will exit this month and, when she returns from her travels, will be a WME client, perhaps as a producer, though she will not be an agent.
"It's rare to work in a job where your colleagues are like family, but that was my experience during my 16 years at this rare company," Harrison said. "I've made some incredible friends here - including our clients and so many people throughout the business - and it means the world to me that I have their support as I embark on my next adventure. I'm looking forward to working with many them in a new capacity when I return from my journey."
Harrison is currently a partner focused on TV lit and comedy and has played an integral role setting up series including The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Without a Trace and Vikings as well as Netflix's upcoming GIrlboss. She is already working to transition clients to other agents within WME. Her client list includes Ellie Kemper, Steve Carell, Rebel Wilson, Thomas Middleditch, Kay Cannon, Tracey Wigfield and Steve Buscemi, among others.
Harrison joined WME predecessor Endeavor in 2001 and before that, worked as a comedy scout and director of comedy at 20th Century Fox Television for four years.
WME's Richard Weitz toasted Harrison during the company's all-executive meeting Monday morning and will host a celebration for her March 3 at his home that is slated to include a mix of friends, colleagues, clients and other industry executives.
In announcing her departure last week, WME partner Ari Greenburg praised Harrison's contributions both as an agent and as a family member. Read his memo to staff below.
Our friend and partner Lisa Harrison will be departing WME. This split is about as amicable as it gets. Lisa is our friend, and someone who has had tremendous success with our group. She is an aunt to many of our kids, a presence in too many of our stories, and a person whose laugh has punctuated our meetings forever.
She is best known for championing the careers of multi-hyphenates and other top voices in comedy.
Lisa came to us 15 years ago from Twentieth, where she built a reputation as a scout and comedy developer. As one of our first female agents in TV, she taught us to nurture clients, especially those with unexpected talent & quirky personalities.
Mainly, Lisa has been here as we grew up, laughing, and often crying, alongside us.
She will be spending the next months traveling, reconnecting with friends, and we expect, adjusting to life without staff meetings and phone sheets.
She is family here, and has already been super helpful in transitioning clients.
When she returns from her adventure, she will be a client and friend -- perhaps as a producer, maybe in some other role. We can't wait to help her on this next endeavor.
Please help me wish Lisa good luck on her move.