Warner Bros. Discovery reshapes international team following exits

Gerhard Zeiler

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has unveiled the new structure of its international team, following the departures of former EMEA chief Priya Dogra and a flurry of other senior execs.

Dogra, who revealed her departure in August, was joined by France, Benelux & Africa chief Pierre Branco on Tuesday, while distribution chief Robert Blair and Germany boss Hannes Heyelmann are also exiting.

WBD international chief Gerhard Zeiler has now confirmed his new team in a note to staff this morning, with James Gibbons taking on an expanded remit that includes Asia Pacific, INSEAK (India, Southeast Asia & Korea) and Western Pacific, which is being united into a single APAC region.

Other changes include:

  • Clement Schwebig, who had managed INSEAK since 2020, will now have responsibility for GSA, France, Benelux and Africa, which will be brought together into a single Western Europe & Africa unit
  • Jamie Cooke, who oversees CEE and MENAT and has responsibility for creative and all pay-TV channels across EMEA, will take on additional oversight of unscripted and linear content acquisition
  • Myriam Lopez-Otazu, who is responsible for sourcing unscripted across EMEA in collaboration with Meredith Gertler’s global content team, will now report into Cooke
  • Ragnhild Thorbech retains responsibility for scripted acquisitions with a remit to “more fully integrate” the content strategy for Max and is also moving into Gertler’s team

Andrew Georgiou remains GM for UK and Ireland, having replaced Antonio Ruiz earlier this year, but with added responsibility for WBD Sports Europe and its interaction with the roll-out strategy for streamer Max.

Christina Sulebakk

Earlier this month, Georgiou discussed the rationale behind the creation of TNT Sports in the UK, admitting that it formed part of a broader strategy ahead of the “eventual” UK launch of the streamer, which is only operational at present in the US.

Numerous execs have also had their previous roles confirmed in the new structure, with Alessandro Araimo retaining oversight of Southern Europe (Italy and Iberia); Christina Sulebakk leading the Nordics; Fernando Medin in charge of Latin America; and Kasia Kieli atop of operations in Poland.

Vanessa Brookman will continue to run WBD’s kids business in EMEA; Ronald Goes will still lead international production unit WBITVP; and Qaisar Rafique will continue to lead commercial strategy for EMEA and APAC.

Louis Goldstein remains in charge of business operations for international but will expand his home entertainment remit to also encompass content licensing.

In his note to staff, Zeiler addressed the numerous senior staff changes recently, adding: “I am fully aware that change can be unsettling and we have had a lot of changes in these last 18 months.

Jamie Cooke

“In addition to the organisational and personnel changes, we are also experiencing a difficult macroeconomic situation in combination with an acceleration of the transformational industry trends.

“This is not an easy situation for any company to manage through, including ours. But I am convinced, more than ever, that with our clearly defined strategy, the IP we have, and the content we produce along with your incredible dedication and commitment to our business, we are in the strongest position to successfully manage the changes and continue to thrive.”

He added that the newly appointed execs would “lead us through the next stage of Warner Bros. Discovery’s growth.”

“This team has both the attitude and competence to manage the complexity of the international business and a one team mindset to collaborate effectively with the global partners across the company.

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