The streaming service will begin competing against Netflix and Disney+ in the region later this year.
WarnerMedia has made three senior content hires in Asia to bolster its original productions teams in advance of the launch of HBO Max in the region later this year.
At the company’s regional headquarters in Singapore, former Iflix executive Mark Francis has been appointed group lead of production and development for scripted and unscripted; and Wee Shi Ming has been named the lead of entertainment content acquisition for North Asia content. They both will report to Magdalene Ew, WarnerMedia’s head of content for Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
In Mumbai, Saugata Mukherjee joins WarnerMedia as Head of Content – Entertainment, India. The newly-created role, like Ew’s, reports to Clement Schwebig, Managing Director of India, Southeast Asia & Korea.
Schwebig said: “These are vital roles as we look to ramp up our original content and programming ambitions in this region. Saugata, Mark and Shi Ming have a great eye for a winning project and have enviable connections within the industry. With them all now in place over the past few months, we’re looking in great shape to entertain local audiences with a well-rounded and premium slate.”
The former head of OTT content at Astro and iflix’s prior chief content officer, Francis will lead a regional team to develop Asian original productions under the “Max Originals” banner.
Wee Shi Ming, in the content acquisition team, started in late 2021 and will focus on securing Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Anime titles for the streamer. Prior to this role, Wee was at Viu and Sony Pictures Television Networks, where she was head of acquisition and programming for Asian content. Wee now works alongside Katheryn Lim, who leads content acquisition for international and English-language entertainment titles, with both of them reporting into Ew.
Former SonyLiv and Disney exec, Mukherjee also joined in late 2021 and is responsible for commissioning local originals, as well as acquiring and developing Indian content across all general entertainment genres.