Warner Bros. Discovery has named its international exec team under Gerhard Zeiler, with new roles for Priya Dogra, James Gibbons and Anil Jhingan.
Zeiler, who was named president of international at the giant company earlier this month, told staff in a memo seen by TBI that the new leadership structure had employed “dedicated regional leads” to reflect “the scale and complexity of the business” and “increase focus on key markets.”
That means a different geographical split to the pre-merger state, enabling “each of the regional leaders to more rapidly assess opportunities for growth and efficiency and to integrate the two companies quickly,” added Zeiler, who is working with Discovery veteran JB Perrette on Warner Bros. Discovery’s huge operation outside of the US.
Key appointments include WarnerMedia’s former EMEA & Asia president Priya Dogra becoming president & MD for EMEA (excluding Poland), overseeing all Warner Bros. Discovery operations in the region from her London base. She will be responsible for integrating and operating the Discovery and WarnerMedia International divisions across the region.
Dogra will also take on James Gibbons‘ remit for the UK and Ireland. Discovery veteran Gibbons, who has been with the factual giant for two decades, is now president & MD for Australia, New Zealand & Japan, reporting to Zeiler, but retaining interim oversight of the Nordics region, for which he will report to Dogra.
Kasia Kieli becomes president & MD for Poland and CEO of TVN, which was owned by Discovery, while Fernando Medin is now president & MD for Latin America & US Hispanic.
He will remain based in São Paulo and takes responsibility for the combined business in the region, which includes key sports rights and local channels. Whit Richardson, who had led Turner in the region before more recently overseeing the roll-out of HBO Max for WarnerMedia, is departing.
Other additions include WarnerMedia exec Clement Schwebig being named president & MD of South-East Asia, Korea and India; Gillian Zhao becoming president of China, reporting into Zeiler; and Tony Qiu remaining GM & SVP for Greater China & SEA and APAC. Qiu reports to Zeiler for Greater China and DTC role, and to Schwebig for his SEA responsibilities.
Andrew Georgiou has been named president & MD of WBD Sports Europe, based in London, and leading the sports portfolio including Eurosport, while Robert Blair remains president of WBD International Television Distribution, and Ronald Goes continues as EVP and head of international TV production, leading the International WB Production business.
Background & context
The changes come less than two weeks since Warner Bros. Discovery started trading on the US Nasdaq, following the closure of the $43bn merger.
This new era for the combined firm followed a purge of senior WarnerMedia staff last month, with news that WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was to leave, followed soon after by studios chief Ann Sarnoff and HBO Max boss Andy Forssell.
A further six departing execs were named later in the week, including Jim Meza, EVP general counsel; CFO Jennifer Biry; EVP chief human resources officer Jim Cummings; EVP chief revenue officer Tony Goncalves; EVP communications and chief inclusion officer Christy Haubegger; and chief technology officer Richard Tom.
Warner Bros. Discovery boss Zaslav has already unveiled his senior leadership team, with Perrette – the ex-president & CEO of Discovery Streaming & International – taking charge of Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive.
Scripps Networks interactive alum Kathleen Finch, previously Discovery’s chief lifestyle brands officer, became chairman & chief content officer for the US Networks Group.
WarnerMedia execs retaining their roles include Channing Dungey, who continues to oversee Warner Bros. Television Group; HBO & HBO Max chief content officer, Casey Bloys; and Toby Emmerich, who remains in charge of Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
Warner Bros. Discovery now owns one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of programming. It houses networks and brands including Discovery Channel, Warner Bros. Entertainment, CNN, CNN+, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HGTV, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, TLC, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies.
The new entity is also home to the global streamers HBO Max and Discovery+, which it has been confirmed will eventually be combined into one single service.