As a Country Manager, Polly Cochrane will be responsible for the development and execution of WarnerMedia’s strategy in the UK and Ireland.
WarnerMedia has appointed Polly Cochrane as Country Manager for WarnerMedia UK and Ireland, overseeing all commercial and group marketing activities in the region and will report directly to Priya Dogra, the company’s head of EMEA & Asia.
Cochrane has been with WarnerMedia for 11 years and most recently served as Executive VP and Group Marketing Director, Warner Bros. UK and Ireland, and Chief Marketing Officer, Harry Potter Global Franchise Development.
As a Country Manager, Cochrane is responsible for the development and execution of WarnerMedia’s strategy in the UK and Ireland and will coordinate and optimise all commercial and group marketing activities in the region.
This will include theatrical distribution, content licensing, home entertainment, consumer products, as well as ad sales and affiliate distribution for the WarnerMedia channels. She will work closely with functional leaders in the US and across Europe.
Commenting on the new appointment, Dogra said: “I’m delighted to welcome Polly to my leadership team. Polly brings a strong and inclusive leadership style, combined with a proven innovative approach to driving our beloved brands and franchises. As she takes on this broader set of responsibilities, our business will benefit from her wealth of experience in the UK media sector. I’m looking forward to tapping into the fresh thinking she will bring to the table.”
The appointment follows the announcement that Josh Berger will step down in December after over 30 years in senior leadership roles at the company. Berger was President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, and President of Harry Potter Global Franchise Development at the company.
Berger will remain as an advisor to the senior management until the middle of 2021 for the Harry Potter franchise in his capacity as an executive producer on the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts film series and upcoming BBC documentary Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History, among other projects.
Berger began his Warner Bros. career in 1986, joining as an intern in the international TV arm of Lorimar-Telepictures (which was bought by Warner Bros. in 1989). After working in a number of leadership roles in Paris and Madrid, Berger relocated to the UK 24 years ago to oversee all TV activities for EMEA. There he made a number of landmark deals with all forms of TV media, in addition to equity investments and co-productions.
In 2002, he became the company’s first Country Manager (UK and Ireland), setting the template for a management model which integrates the disparate divisions in a territory under one leader and a single corporate structure.
Commenting on his departure, Berger said: “There’s nothing more amazing than seeing stories being brought to life on screen. Over the last 31 years at Warner Bros., I’ve been lucky to see every part of that process in action. I’ve seen ideas being formed and deals being struck, magic being made in front of the camera and behind it, and stories being told from – and sent to – all corners of the earth. I’m so grateful to all my colleagues for making this place feel like home for so long and wish them all the best for the future.”
The reorganisation follows the announcement in August that WarnerMedia was bringing the international operations of Warner Bros., HBO and Turner under one leadership for the first time, with Gerhard Zeiler, to whom Dogra reports, named as head of WarnerMedia International.