London, December 2, 2020 – Pierre Branco, recently named to the dual roles of Head of WarnerMedia EMEA Affiliate & Ad Sales and Country Manager for WarnerMedia Nordic, CEE, Middle East, Turkey & Africa, today announced his leadership team, uniting a group of highly experienced executives in Jesper Steenberg, Matthias Heinze, Guillaume Coffin, Rita Akkari, Roni Patel and Johan Mannerhill.
The new leadership team brings together WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks (comprising the legacy Turner and HBO businesses) with Warner Bros. (Theatrical, Consumer Products, TV & Digital distribution, Home Entertainment) to ensure a one WarnerMedia approach in a diverse range of geographies; and delivers an integrated EMEA approach to distribution for both existing and future services.
Jesper Steenberg, who currently oversees the HBO distribution in Europe, will now lead the business development, digital distribution and trade marketing for WarnerMedia’s services in EMEA working closely with the local affiliate teams. He will also continue to oversee the Nordic affiliates business.
Matthias Heinze, who is currently responsible for the commercial operations for Turner in Germany and CEE, will now be responsible for the Affiliates and Ad Sales businesses in GAS and Central and Eastern Europe. He also becomes General Manager for WarnerMedia Poland with oversight on the Theatrical and Consumer Products businesses in the country.
Guillaume Coffin, who currently manages Affiliates and Ad Sales for France & Africa at Turner, will expand his remit to encompass Benelux, Greece, the Middle East and Turkey. He will also become General Manager for WarnerMedia in Turkey with oversight of the Theatrical business in the market.
Heinze and Coffin will also work closely with WarnerMedia’s France, Benelux & GAS Country Manager Iris Knobloch on those respective parts of their remit to ensure a fully coordinated approach.
Rita Akkari, who manages the distribution of WarnerMedia content to all players in Central, Eastern Europe and Russia, will now lead a newly formed TV & Digital Distribution group which also includes Home Video Digital Distribution for CEE and Russia.
Roni Patel will continue to lead the distribution of Warner Bros., Turner, HBO, and HBO Max content to TV, SVOD and AVOD players for Benelux, the Middle East and Nordic.
Johan Mannerhill will continue to lead WarnerMedia Home Entertainment’s business in the Nordics with responsibility for all physical & digital video and games distribution.
Pierre Branco commented: “This exceptional group of executives will leverage our combined scale to tap into synergies through a single ‘one WarnerMedia’ lens and enrich the consumer offering across the full breadth of our brands, businesses and platforms. They will foster a more holistic approach to our ad sales and distribution strategies at the EMEA regional level, in close coordination with fellow Country Managers across EMEA, and working closely with the HBO Max team as we prepare for its arrival in due course in our markets. Their smart business acumen, commitment to new ways of thinking, and deep connection to our brands will be a huge asset as we move forward.”
About the Leadership Team:
Jesper Steenberg joined Turner in 2013 as Distribution Director Nordic and Baltic, moving to HBO Europe in 2016 to head up distribution for digital (OTT) and traditional (linear) across HBO’s 21 countries. Previously he was Sales Director at MTG (now NENT Group) overseeing the ad sales business and the creative sales for the group.
Matthias Heinze joined Turner in 2008 as Commercial Director for Germany, Austria, Switzerland overseeing affiliate sales, ad sales and consumer products for the Turner networks there. In March 2013, he became Vice President Commercial Central and Eastern Europe and was appointed General Manager for Eastern Europe in December 2015. Previously, he held ad sales and marketing roles at ProSiebenSat.1.
Guillaume Coffin joined Turner France as Digital Project Manager in 2008 overseeing digital revenues. He became Director of Channel Distribution to Affiliates Partners in 2011 and added Africa and Israel to his remit in 2015. In 2018, he was promoted to Vice President Commercial for Turner in those regions adding advertising activities to his remit. Previously, he worked at Orange in the content division.
Rita Akkari joined Warner Bros. as Management Development Executive for International TV Distribution in July 2007, and through subsequent promotions assumed the role of Vice President CEE and Sub-Saharan Africa in 2018. In January 2019, she added Russia and Poland to her remit as Vice President Central and Eastern Europe. Previously, she was Director of International Sales for TVF International and prior to that a producer for the BBC.
Roni Patel joined Warner Bros. in 2007 as Director Sales, Benelux and Middle East adding Nordics to her portfolio in 2009. Previously she was at The Walt Disney Company for 11 years responsible for content distribution across various territories during her tenure including Nordics, UK, CEE & Israel.
Johan Mannerhill joined Warner Bros. as Nordic Commercial Director in 2012, overseeing sales and marketing, and became Nordic MD 2016. Previously he held roles at Electronic Arts and Bandai, and was chairman of the Swedish Games Industry/Game Developers.
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. The organization also includes Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers.