WarnerMedia has appointed Christina Sulebakk to lead HBO Europe including the linear networks and streaming service effective immediately. In her new role as general manager, HBO Europe,
Sulebakk, who will report into Dogra, replaces Hervé Payan who served as CEO of HBO Europe for eight years and who will be leaving the company at the end of August. She has been at HBO Europe for over eight years, most recently serving as EVP, CMO and head of distribution. During her years at HBO Europe she has worked in Madrid, Budapest and New York and has played pivotal roles in transforming the Central European business into streaming, and launching HBO España.
Dogra said: “Christina is a tremendously talented executive who has been integral to the success of HBO Europe. She has a deep understanding of direct-to-consumer businesses and has played a pivotal role in the development of our international plans. She will be a key force in driving our growth in Europe.”
“We’re incredibly grateful to Hervé for his leadership in building and growing the HBO Europe business and importantly, for his vision in launching streaming video offerings in key markets in Europe. I’ve personally worked closely with Hervé over the past few years and I’ve appreciated his entrepreneurial spirit, his focus on innovation and good sense of humor. We are thankful to Hervé for staying on until the end of August to ensure a smooth transition of this important business.”
Payan said: “I am enormously proud of what the HBO Europe team has achieved over the years. I am delighted to see the torch pass to Christina. She has been here since the outset and I’m sure she will play a valuable role in accelerating the pace of the business.”
Sulebakk said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled about my new role and our ambitious plans for HBO Europe. Working on this iconic brand with exceptionally talented colleagues at such a pivotal time in the industry has been an educational and enriching experience. I can’t wait to get started on the opportunities that lie ahead as we build on the strong foundation that is Hervé’s legacy.”
The appointments cap a busy week for HBO Max, following Dogra’s appointment on Monday to replace the outgoing Giorgio Stock, who stepped down at the end of June. She will share responsibility for the kids business in EMEA and APAC with Tom Ascheim, who was recently named president of global kids, young adults and classics at Warner Bros.
Larcher’s appointment also suggests WarnerMedia will soon step up its global roll-out of HBO Max, which to date has only been available in the US. How that strategy will unfurl remains unclear, however.
WarnerMedia has an array of content deals with broadcasters around the world, including offering its flagship HBO content to Sky in the UK, for example.
HBO Max also struck a co-production pact last year with Sky, as revealed by our sister title TBI, while its approach in Asia is also to be revealed. The US firm has closed its HBO Go mobile app in the States as it seeks to simplify a complex line-up of offerings, but just last week launched the HBO Go service in Taiwan. https://www.digitaltveurope.com