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Warner Launches Initiative for Global Business

29 Jan, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

Warner Home Video is launching a new “global business transformation” initiative, starting by reorganizing parts of its executive staff and creating a new business unit.

The stated purpose of the change is to assess its operations and define future business goals “globally, regionally and locally” to take advantage of the expanding global home video market.

Jim Cardwell, president of WHV, noted that the company has responded to the dramatic shifts and rapid expansion of the home video marketplace in recent years by “tweaking” its structure.

“But we have never really stepped back and looked at our organization and asked how we structure the organization to maximize the value of our assets on a global basis,” Cardwell said.

The new Global Business Transformation Unit is intended to do just that. Cardwell hopes that beyond analyzing and benchmarking existing systems within WHV, the unit can develop new strategies and systems to get more releases out into the global marketplace more cost effectively — and in some cases sooner after theatrical — and to more retailers.

Cardwell doesn't discount the value of a global simultaneous home video release. “We would certainly want to have the capability to do that,” he said.

Cardwell has hinted at global releases before.

“The growing trend toward simultaneous worldwide theatrical release makes a coordinated worldwide video release more feasible,” Cardwell said in a recent interview. “This is an important weapon in the fight against piracy. ... This trend is good for generating higher levels of worldwide consumer awareness of new releases, and thus has benefits beyond the obvious one of helping close the window on piracy.”

In forming the global unit, Warner made some changes to staff structure:

Mark Horak has been named EVP and GM for Canada, Latin America and Australia. Formerly, he was EVP of worldwide marketing.

Marc Gareton, previously the SVP for Canada, Latin America and Australia, becomes SVP of the newly created Global Business Transformation Unit. Keith Hillyer, formerly VP, finance for the Unied States, becomes SVP of business modeling.

Jeffrey M. Brown takes over as SVP, worldwide marketing, from his former position in Europe as SVP and co-managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Philippe Cardon will assume Brown's responsibilities as the new SVP and GM of Europe, Middle East and African operations. He was deputy managing director.

“I believe the new management organization will provide WHV with the right team to implement these changes and manage our future business,” Cardwell said.

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