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HBO names new global distribution chief

Tom Woodbury

Tom Woodbury

HBO has upped Tom Woodbury to president, global distribution. The newly created role will see the HBO veteran step into a new role that oversees the premium cabler’s international and domestic businesses.

Under the new structure, international president Simon Sutton reports toWoodbury who has been at HBO since 1981, as does domestic channels executive VP, Shelley Brindle.

Woodbury reports directly to HBO chairman and CEO, Richard Plepler.

As well as overseeing domestic US and international operations, the HBO veteran will stay in control of business affairs and retain his previous responsibilities. As general counsel, executive VP and chief legal officer his role positions him as the chief legal go-between, between HBO and its parent firm Time Warner.

Plepler said: “Tom’s intelligence, judgment and institutional memory about our business are well known to everyone who has worked with him over his distinguished career at HBO. He has long been a central participant in shaping HBO’s strategy.”

The move is seen as an attempt by HBO to more closely align its US and international operations. Outside of the US the company has a programme sales business as well as channels throughout Central Europe, an OTT services in the Nordic region and a joint venture with Dutch cable operator Ziggo in the Netherlands.

Plepler added:  “[Woodbury] has proven to be an invaluable advisor to many and we are fortunate that he will now lend those talents to leading aneven larger team.  By aligning these groups more closely, we are even better positioned to take full advantage of the exciting business opportunities before us.”

Time Warner, and by association HBO, are currently the subject of takeover speculation as Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty First Century Fox attempts to combine the two media giants.