Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has unveiled its EMEA team, with a series of country directors appointed to new roles and five senior executive departures.
The giant corporation, which is restructuring after the $40 billion merger, has appointed a group of six leaders to oversee the countries in the region, each responsible for WBD’s combined business and reporting to Priya Dogra, who is became President and CEO of EMEA in April.
They will work with the company’s global leadership team across streaming, sports, US programming, studio operations and networks.
- Alessandro Araimo becomes General Manager for Italy, Spain and Portugal, after serving as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Discovery in Italy
- Pierre Branco becomes GM for France, Benelux and Africa. He was previously country director for WarnerMedia in France, Benelux, Middle East and Africa and responsible for subsidiaries and advertising sales for the EMEA region.
- Jamie Cooke becomes Managing Director for CEE, Baltics, Middle East, Mediterranean and Turkey, after serving as Country Manager for Discovery in CEE, Middle East and Africa
- Hannes Heyelmann becomes GM for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He was previously Senior Vice President of Programming for WarnerMedia in the EMEA region.
- Antonio Ruiz becomes Managing Director for the UK and Ireland, after holding the same position for Discovery in Spain, France and Portugal
As announced last month, Christina Sulebakk will direct in the Nordics, having served as Managing Director of HBO Max across Europe, while vanessa brookman remains as senior vice president of the children and family division for the EMEA region.
She will also assume responsibility for Adult Swim in the EMEA region with a dual reporting line with Michael Ouweleen, who runs Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Boomerang.
Antoine Racine retains original production responsibilities for HBO Max in EMEA, as well as original production for Warner Media’s general entertainment channels in Germany, France and Spain.
Ragnhild Thorbech continues programming and acquisitions responsibilities for HBO Max EMEA; Myriam Lopez-Otazu remains responsible for the investments, planning and prioritization of the Discovery and Discovery+ linear channels; and Qaisar Rafique becomes leader of the commercial strategy.
As previously announced, Leah Hooper is Regional Head of Streaming for EMEA, part of JB Perrette’s management team and a key part of Dogra’s senior team.
Departures & structure
Joining the wave of senior executive departures following the merger are Sylvia Rothblumwho oversaw Germany, Austria and Switzerland for WarnerMedia and Susanne Aigner, who was SVP & GM for Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Benelux at Discovery.
Italian and Iberian chef from WarnerMedia Thomas Ciampa is also stepping down, alongside Lydia Fairfax, SVP of Commercial Partnerships in EMEA for Discovery, and David FisherVice President of Advance Advertising for Discovery.
WBD was quick to install its senior team after the merger in April, with HBO Max’s international chief and the streamer’s general manager of Latin America among other departed.
Sarah Lyons, who had been executive vice president of global direct-to-consumer product for WarnerMedia, also departed, while British Warner chief Polly Cochrane and children’s topper Tom Ascheim also left the newly created company.
JB Perrette was named CEO and President of Global and Interactive Streaming by WBD chief David Zaslav in April, with Hooper being joined as regional head of streaming by Jason Monteiro for APAC, Juan Sola for Lat Am and Michael Bishara for the North America.
The foursome report to Perrette and are also part of the respective management teams of Dogra and Kasia Kieli in EMEA, Clement Schwebig and James Gibbons in APAC and Fernando Medin in Lat Am.
Those executives were confirmed in their roles in April, reporting to Gerhard Zeiler who was named the giant company’s international chairman earlier this month. The changes were part of a new leadership structure that employs “dedicated regional managers” to “increase focus in key markets”.