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WarnerMedia makes key HBO Max appointments

WarnerMedia has cemented its digital leadership team for HBO Max with several key appointments.

Overseeing HBO Max is the previously announced Tony Goncalves, who will report to Warner chairman Robert Greenblatt. Goncalves is also the CEO of Otter media, the Warner-owned digital media company that owns Crunchyroll, VRV, Fullscreen, Gunpowder & Sky, Hello Sunshine, and Rooster Teeth.

The announced team will be responsible for product design, customer experience and lifecycle, acquisition and retention marketing, customer data, reporting and insights, business development, and go-to-market Strategy and business operations.

Andy Forssell is charged with HBO Max operations in the role of EVP and general manager of WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer. Reporting to Goncalves, Forssell most recently was COO of Otter Media and has also held a variety of CEO and general management roles at Hulu, Fullscreen, and ShowYou.

The new exec team, reporting to Forssell, is made up of: DirecTV digital media veteran Sarah Lyons, SVP of Product Experience; global media and tech marketer Katie Soo, SVP growth marketing; former Warner Bros. research and analytics expertKeith Camoosa, SVP of data insights and operations; Jess Miller, VP of project management; and Crunchyroll business intelligence veteran Reid DeRamus as senior director of business operations.

In addition, Forssell will receive support from other leads across Warner media including Lionsgate’s Sean Kisker, who will serve as EVP and chief strategy officer for Otter Media. Kisker will work closely with WarnerMedia Entertainment chief strategy officer and EVP of financial planning Josh Walker. 

Lastly, Comcast X1’s Jason Press will serve as EVP DTC engineering and programme management, and report to CTO Jeremy Legg.

Greenblatt said: “With Tony Goncalves, Andy Forssell and their experienced leadership teams, we are now well-positioned to deliver a best-in-class customer experience and go-to-market strategy that positions HBO Max for real success. Combined with our stellar content teams, I’m thrilled with the level of expertise we have across this entire business.”

Goncalves said: “We have gathered an all-star team of executives whose innovative contributions have directly advanced the digital media industry. I am so proud to be a part of this journey as we bring HBO Max to market and continue to transform this space. Andy’s experience and leadership are essential for this effort and his partnership at Otter Media helped the company thrive at a time of significant change in the marketplace.” 

Forrsell said: “Designing HBO Max to be a robust streaming platform that supports Warner Media’s world-class creative talent and content requires a team with the experience and passion to blend technology and creativity in harmony. 

“We’ve built an incredible lineup of digital media experts, who have been hard at work for months, to do exactly that. We’re looking forward to pushing the industry to evolve, for the benefit of fans everywhere.”

HBO Max is scheduled to launch in spring of 2020 with 10,000 hours of premium content, though pricing has not yet been announced.