Warner Bros. Discovery Names Nordic Management Structure; Three More Exiting In Restructure

Warner Bros. Discovery has set another of its European management teams, as Nordic chief Christina Sulebakk lays out the structure of her unit.

The likes of Pil Gundelach BrandstrupMagnus Vatn, Axel Eriksson and Katja Santala have landed key country-based content roles in the shake-up, while Rebecca Rørmark, Sanny Ekstrand and Johan Mannerhill are the highest profile exits. Last month, Deadline revealed Nordics originals chief Christian Wikander was among the 29 departing WBD’s European production team as part of a switch to a territory-first model.

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

Of those departing, WBD said Rørmark had “decided to explore new opportunities” but will head up marketing of the Discovery channel portfolio, trade marketing for HBO Max and publicity “during a period of transition,” while SVP of Operations Ekstrand is exiting after four years, having spent the past two in an “important role in building the Nordic strategy and operation.” Mannerhill, General Manager Nordics for Home Entertainment & Games, is leaving after a decade at Warner Bros.’s Nordic arm. WBD is understood to be hiring a replacement for Rørmark.

The full line up is as follows

  • Pil Gundelach Brandstrup — overseeing content and planning across the Nordics, as well as continuing as content lead for Denmark.
  • Magnus Vatn (Norway), Axel Eriksson (Sweden) and Katja Santala (Finland) — remain as country content leads.
  • Lina Friman — remains in charge of planning, reporting to Gundelach Brandstrup.
  • Roni Patel — responsible for content licensing.
  • Kasper Kryger — responsible for the ad sales business in the region.
  • Jesper Steenberg — responsible for a newly consolidated distribution team.
  • Tore Fredrik Dreyer — heads up distribution for theatrical, games and home entertainment.
  • Jessie Ross Skarvad — responsible for marketing and publicity of theatrical, games and home entertainment.
  • Francois Simonetta — will continue to oversee consumer products for the region, working closely with the Nordics leadership team and reporting into global brands and experience.
  • Morten Johannessen — continues to oversee the sports operation across the Nordics.

A head of financial, operations, research and insights will be appointed shortly, while legal, people and culture, and corporate comms execs will be announced at a later stage.

Management structures in the UK and Ireland, Germany, CEE/MENAT and Spain, Italy and Portugal have already been set, as David Zaslav’s international bosses refocus local operations following the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery earlier this year. Only Pierre Branco’s France, Benelux and Africa division is yet to reveal its local structure.

Sulebakk, who was named Nordics General Manager in June having previously been General Manager of HBO Max EMEA, said: “The Nordics is a highly developed media market and Warner Bros. Discovery is one of the leading media businesses in the region, reaching millions of people every day with high-quality content and products. In the past few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many talented people, and I am confident that WBD will grow into an even stronger corporation in the years ahead. The potential is extremely exciting and today I am happy to announce the leadership team that will support me in delivering continued growth for WBD in the Nordics.”

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