WarnerMedia International has unveiled what it calls a “new-look organization and leadership” group in India, Southeast Asia and Korea.
The move puts WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks’ legacy Turner and HBO TV businesses under the same roof as Warner Bros.’ theatrical distribution, TV syndication, home entertainment, consumer products, gaming and location-based entertainment activities.
The Korea, India and Southeast Asia reorganization was announced by Clement Schwebig, who will continue to head of WarnerMedia for India, Southeast Asia and Korea. As part of Schwebig’s reshuffle Siddharth Jain, SVP and MD South Asia, and Jessica Kam, SVP of original productions, entertainment, will be let go.
Warner defines Southeast Asia as including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, and the Pacific islands. The China (plus Australia New Zealand) business is led by Adam Presser. And Japan is under Takahashi Masami . Neither of them have announced their new structures yet. Both Schwebig and Takahashi report to Priya Dogra in London. And Dogra and presser report into Gerhard Zeiler, head of WarnerMedia International.
Following the 2018 acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T and consolidation by rival studio groups, consolidation has long been on the cards. Those moves have been accelerated by the turmoil of the coronavirus and the boost to streaming and direct to consumer activities.
Under Schwebig, Yasmin Zahid is to head affiliate & B2B distribution for all WarnerMedia linear TV networks, including HBO channels, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, POGO, Warner TV and Oh!K, as well as lead B2B carriage partnerships for the HBO GO streaming service.
David Simonsen will continue to lead the development of HBO GO in Southeast Asia. He will work closely with Johannes Larcher’s global HBO Max team to lay the foundation for its future launch in the region.
Jae Chang will head TV Distribution and Home Entertainment overseeing all physical and digital distribution licensing for all WarnerMedia content in the region.
Vikram Sharma takes charge of consumer products, advertising and partnerships leading both the licensing and merchandising business for all WarnerMedia IP, brands and franchises, as well as the advertising sales business for all WarnerMedia brands on all platforms linear and digital.
Magdalene Ew takes charge of the company’s consolidated entertainment pillar including all HBO channels, Warner TV and Oh!K as well as Ding Ji Theatre, a specialty streaming platform in China. She will also oversee all entertainment original productions in the region, including HBO Asia Originals
Athreyan Sundararajan will leads an integrated group marketing team for all WarnerMedia business, including advertising and distribution sales trade, consumer and brand as well as theatrical. Creative services and social media will also report to him.
Shonali Bedi is to head strategy and operations including all transformation initiatives in the region and also takes on expanded responsibilities for research and insights.
Leslie Lee will continue to lead all the kids brands for WarnerMedia across Asia Pacific, including India, Southeast Asia and Korea.
A new lead for theatrical distribution is being sought, but until then, all country managing directors will report directly to Schwebig.
“We have tremendous depth and breadth of talent across our organization and combined, we are definitely better together. We’ve put in place a unique organizational structure for growth that is designed to sharpen our focus on the consumer and build stronger relationships with our local partners. Integrating our commercial activities, content and marketing functions will enable us to leverage our enhanced scale and bigger footprint of consumer touchpoints across our varied businesses, brands, franchises and platforms,” said Schwebig.
“We owe Sid (Jain) and Jessica (Kam) a huge debt of gratitude for the many years of significant contribution they have made to WarnerMedia. They have each in their own way left a lasting legacy and helped build an incredible foundation for the future of our businesses.”
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