Warner Bros. Discovery announces EMEA leadership team

Priya Dogra

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has unveiled its EMEA team, with a raft of country managers appointed to new roles and five senior exec departures.

The giant company, which is weeks into its restructuring following the $40bn merger, has named a six-strong set of execs to oversee countries in the region, each responsible for WBD’s combined businesses and reporting into Priya Dogra, who became president & MD for EMEA in April.

They will work with the company’s global exec team across streaming, sport, US programming, studio operations and networks.

  • Alessandro Araimo becomes GM for Italy, Spain and Portugal, having previously been EVP and GM for Discovery in Italy
  • Pierre Branco becomes GM for France, Benelux and Africa. He was previously country manager for WarnerMedia in France, Benelux, Middle East and Africa and head of affiliates & ad sales for EMEA
  • Jamie Cooke becomes GM for CEE, Baltics, Middle East, Mediterranean and Turkey, having previously been country manager for Discovery across CEE and Middle East & Africa
  • Hannes Heyelmann becomes GM for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He was previously EVP programming for WarnerMedia across EMEA
  • Antonio Ruiz becomes GM for UK and Ireland, having been in the same role for Discovery in Spain, France and Portugal

As announced last month, Christina Sulebakk will lead in the Nordics, having previously been GM of HBO Max across Europe, while Vanessa Brookman remains as SVP of kids & family for EMEA.

Antony Root

She will also take on responsibility for Adult Swim across EMEA with a dual reporting line to Michael Ouweleen, who leads Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang.

Antony Root retains his responsibilities for original production for HBO Max across EMEA, as well as original production for the Warner Media general entertainment channels in Germany, France and Spain.

Ragnhild Thorbech continues her responsibilities for programming and acquisitions for HBO Max EMEA; Myriam Lopez-Otazu remains responsible for investment, planning and prioritisation for the Discovery linear channels and Discovery+; and Qaisar Rafique becomes lead for commercial strategy.

As previously announced, Leah Hooper is regional lead for streaming for EMEA, sitting on JB Perrette’s leadership team and being a key part of Dogra’s senior team.

Departures & structure

Joining the raft of senior exec departures following the merger are Sylvia Rothblum, who oversaw Germany, Austria and Switzerland for WarnerMedia and Susanne Aigner, who was SVP & GM for Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Benelux at Discovery.

WarnerMedia’s Italian and Iberian chief Thomas Ciampa is also exiting, along with Lydia Fairfax, SVP of commercial partnerships in EMEA for Discovery, and David Fisher, VP of advance advertising for Discovery.

WBD has been quick to install its senior team following the merger in April, with HBO Max’s international chief and the streamer’s Latin America GM among others to have left.

JB Perrette

Sarah Lyons, who had been EVP of direct to consumer, global product for WarnerMedia, has also departed, while Warner’s UK chief Polly Cochrane and kids topper Tom Ascheim have also left the freshly minted company.

JB Perrette was installed as CEO & president of global streaming and interactive by WBD chief David Zaslav in April, with Hooper being joined as regional streaming chief by Jason Monteiro for APAC, Juan Sola for Lat Am, and Michael Bishara for North America.

The quartet report into Perrette and are also part of the respective leadership teams of Dogra and Kasia Kieli in EMEA, Clement Schwebig and James Gibbons in APAC, and Fernando Medin in Lat Am.

Those execs were confirmed in their roles in April, reporting into Gerhard Zeiler who was named president of international at the giant company earlier that month. The changes were part of a new leadership structure that employs “dedicated regional leads” to “increase focus on key markets.”

Read Next