Warner Bros. Discovery appoints Nordic management structure; Three other exits under restructuring

Warner Bros. Discovery has named another of its European leadership teams, as Nordic leader Christina Sulebakk exposes the structure of his unit.

The tastes of Pil Gundelach Brandstrup, Magnus Vatn, Axel Erikson and Katja Santala landed key content roles per country in the shakeup, while Rebecca Rormark, Sanny Ekstrand and Johan Manner Hill are the most prominent releases. Last month, Deadline revealed Head of Nordic Originals, Christian Wikander, was among WBD’s 29 European production teams leaving as part of a shift to a territory-focused model.

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WBD’s Nordic operation spans several Discovery-branded linear channels and HBO Max, which launched last year but will be replaced by a service that also incorporates Discovery+ in 2024. It also has extensive local production operations.

Of those leaving, WBD said Rørmark had “decided to explore new opportunities” but will lead marketing for the Discovery channel portfolio, commercial marketing for HBO Max and advertising “during a transition period”, while the Vice President of Operations Ekstrand is leaving after four years, having spent the last two years in a “significant role in building Nordic strategy and operations”. Mannerhill, Nordics General Manager for Home Entertainment & Games, is leaving after a decade at the Nordic arm of Warner Bros. WBD is supposed to hire a replacement for Rørmark.

The full range is as follows

  • Pil Gundelach Brandstrup – oversee content and planning in the Nordics, while continuing to lead content for Denmark.

  • Magnus Vatn (Norway), Axel Erikson (Sweden) and Katja Santala (Finland) — remain at the top of content by country.

  • Lina Freeman — remains in charge of planning, under the responsibility of Gundelach Brandstrup.

  • Roni Patel — responsible for content licensing.

  • Kasper Kryger — Responsible for ad sales activity in the region.

  • Jesper Steenberg — responsible for a newly consolidated distribution team.

  • Tore Fredrik Dreyer — leads distribution for movie theatres, games and home entertainment.

  • Jessie Ross Skarvad — responsible for theater, gaming and home entertainment marketing and advertising.

  • Francois Simonette – continue to oversee consumer products for the region, working closely with the Nordic leadership team and reporting on global brands and experience.

  • Morten Johannessen – continues to oversee sports operations in the Nordic countries.

A Head of Finance, Operations, Research and Ideas will be appointed shortly, while Heads of Legal, People & Culture and Corporate Communications will be announced at a later date.

Management structures in the UK and Ireland, Germany, EEC/MENAT and Spain, Italy and Portugal have already been fixed, as international bosses David Zaslav refocuses local operations following the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery earlier this year. Only the France, Benelux and Africa division of Pierre Branco has not yet revealed its local structure.

Sulebakk, who was named managing director of Nordics in June after serving as general manager of HBO Max EMEA, said: “The Nordics are a very developed media market and Warner Bros. Discovery is one of the region’s leading media companies, reaching millions of people. people every day with high quality content and products. Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of meeting so many talented people and I am confident that WBD will become an even stronger company in the years to come. The potential is extremely exciting and today I am pleased to announce the management team that will support me to ensure the continued growth of WBD in the Nordics.

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