The executive team will be responsible for Warner Bros. Discovery’s combined businesses in their respective territories.
Warner Bros. Discovery has announced the leadership team that will support Priya Dogra in her role as President and Managing Director, EMEA (excluding Poland) following the launch of the new, premier global entertainment company in April 2022. Jamie Cooke now takes on the role of General Manager, CEE, Baltics, Middle East, Mediterranean and Turkey. He was previously Country Manager for Discovery across CEE and Middle East & Africa. Hannes Heyelmann has been appointed General Manager, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He was previously EVP Programming for WarnerMedia across EMEA. The rest of the team are mentioned below.
Speaking about the new team, Priya Dogra said: “My focus has been to build a senior team that harnesses and balances the experience, perspective and talent from across the Discovery and WarnerMedia businesses. Each leader will be responsible for continuing the necessary transitions into new means of distribution and new forms of growth, as well as integrating our two organisations into one team, with one clear strategy and a common, respectful culture.”
The executives will be responsible for Warner Bros. Discovery’s combined businesses in their respective territories working in close coordination with the company’s global functions across Streaming, Sport, US Programming, and the Studio and for each line of business, developing territory-specific strategies to drive growth and efficiencies. These include pay and FTA networks, leading significant efforts in marketing and monetising US content across lines of business including theatrical, licensing, consumer products, games and home entertainment and shared responsibility for the streaming services.
Alessandro Araimo becomes General Manager, Italy, Spain and Portugal. He was previously EVP and General Manager for Discovery in Italy.
Pierre Branco becomes General Manager, France, Benelux and Africa. He was previously Country Manager for WarnerMedia in France, Benelux, Middle East and Africa and Head of Affiliates and Ad Sales for EMEA.
Antonio Ruiz becomes General Manager, UK and Ireland. He was previously General Manager for Discovery in Spain, France and Portugal.
Christina Sulebakk becomes General Manager, Nordics. She was previously General Manager of HBO Max across Europe.
Other executives that will be part of Priya Dogra’s leadership team and supporting the General Managers across the region are Vanessa Brookman, Antony Root, Ragnhild Thorbech, Myriam Lopez-Otazu, Qaisar Rafique and Leah Hooper.
Vanessa Brookman continues as SVP Kids and Family, EMEA and takes 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 continues his responsibilities for original production for HBO Max across EMEA as well as original production for the WM general entertainment channels in Germany, France and Spain.
Ragnhild Thorbech continues her responsibilities for programming and acquisitions for HBO Max EMEA, while Myriam Lopez-Otazu continues her responsibilities for guiding investment, planning and prioritisation for the Discovery linear channels and discovery+ working closely with the territory GMs and coordinating with the US programming team.
Qaisar Rafique becomes lead for Commercial Strategy expanding the role he played at Discovery to the broader portfolio.
As previously unveiled, Leah Hooper is serving as the regional lead for streaming for EMEA, sitting on the leadership team of CEO and president, global streaming and interactive JB Perrette and also “being an integral part of Priya Dogra’s senior team,” the company said.
Meanwhile, the following executives have decided to step down, the company said: Sylvia Rothblum, country manager, Germany, Austria and Switzerland for WarnerMedia; Susanne Aigner, global senior VP & general manager, Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Benelux for Discovery; Thomas Ciampa, country manager for Italy, Spain and Portugal for WarnerMedia; Lydia Fairfax, senior VP commercial partnerships, EMEA for Discovery; David Fisher, VP advance advertising for Discovery.
Priya Dogra concluded: “Sylvia, Susanne, Thomas, Lydia and David have created enormous value for our company and each have shaped the careers of so many along the way. I am grateful for their many contributions and their assistance in ensuring a smooth transition and I wish them the very best.”