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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Digital Drivers 2016

Ron Sanders, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution
Sanders oversees all global distribution operations of home entertainment products, including packaged media, interactive entertainment and digital transactions such as Digital HD, UltraViolet and VOD. As an early proponent of shared entitlements, Sanders drove the industry for successful adoption of UV, which now has more than 25 million registered users. Under his leadership Warner also was the first studio to announce support for 4K UHD with HDR, the first studio with a digital deal to make 4K HDR titles available for digital ownership, and the first studio to support Carrefour in France in their innovative launch of the Nolim digital tablet and digital storefront. It was a critical development to drive adoption of digital content in France since there were no local retailers yet supporting the market with a digital retail store. Since the launch, another large retailer (FNAC) has also announced a launch of a digital storefront, helping drive competition and expansion of the digital business.


Thomas Gewecke, chief digital officer, EVP, strategy and business development, Warner Bros. Entertainment
Gewecke is responsible for driving the studio’s worldwide digital growth as well as managing its global business strategy. Prior to his current role, Gewecke served as president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, a position he had held since January 2008. Under Gewecke, WBDD expanded its global footprint to make the studio’s movie and television content available for transactional purchase in every major market, through more than 100 digital retail partners, and was consistently recognized as a leader and innovator in the distribution of digital content. WBDD led the industry in offering on-demand movies day-and-date with the DVD release, bundling digital copies with new physical releases worldwide and making movies available directly to fans through new channels, including Facebook and as international “App Editions” on the iOS platform. Gewecke oversaw the studio’s May 2011 acquisition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, which Warner sold in February to Fandango. Under the deal, Warner became a minority owner of Fandango.


Jim Wuthrich, president of the Americas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Wuthrich manages physical and digital distribution of home entertainment properties, including games. He has played a key leadership role in the studio’s digital effort since it began integrating the digital and packaged goods businesses. Recently, he has been spearheading the studio’s efforts to expand digital ownership through shared entitlements, next-generation EST and new business models. He is also at the forefront of Warner’s efforts to evaluate and implement emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and Ultra HD. He joined Warner Home Video in 1998 as director of marketing and was promoted to VP of marketing theatrical new release in 2003. He served as SVP of electronic sellthrough and interactive marketing, and then as SVP of digital distribution before being promoted to president of international in 2009.


Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group
Hunegs is responsible for overall Television Group performance and for creating traditional and digital television growth for the studio. He manages the expansion of international local production, increased production for U.S. basic and premium cable networks and SVOD services, the growth of Warner Bros. Animation’s kids business, and the evolution of linear and on-demand TV distribution windows. Hunegs’ focus on Television Group growth includes key digital initiatives in short-form programming production, OTT distribution, including the company’s acquisition of the DramaFever SVOD service, and its investment in Machinima, a leading MCN targeting fandom and gamer audiences and creators. He is on the board of The CW network and plays an active role in setting its linear and digital distribution strategies. Hunegs is also the lead dealmaker for all Television Group production divisions.


Justin Herz, SVP, Warner Bros. Digital
Herz oversees emerging technology, new platforms and direct-to-consumer businesses. He manages research and development and standard setting for the studio; ownership initiatives in support of digital distribution, OTT platforms and strategies; and Warner’s consumer intelligence/data activities.


David Haddad, president, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Promoted to this role in October 2015, Haddad is responsible for all aspects of WBIE’s overall operations, including publishing, operations, sales, marketing, digital/mobile games, business development and game production. Under Haddad’s oversight, WBIE creates games across all platforms utilizing its wholly owned, award-winning development studios — TT Games, Rocksteady Studios, NetherRealm Studios, Monolith Productions, Turbine, WB Games Montreal and WB Games San Francisco.  In 2015, WBIE had its most successful year ever with a number of hit games, including Mortal Kombat X on console and mobile and Batman: Arkham Knight, Lego Jurassic World and Lego Dimensions. Lego Marvel’s Avengers launched in January, and the highly anticipated Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will launch on June 28. As the head of WBIE, Haddad also serves on the board of the Entertainment Software Association.


Jacqueline Hayes, SVP and general counsel, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Hayes serves as lead counsel for Warner’s digital initiatives, including UltraViolet, VOD/EST, and new digital business models. First joining Warner Home Video in 1998 as counsel, Hayes was promoted to VP of business and legal affairs in 2000. She joined the newly formed Warner Bros. Digital Distribution in 2006, was later promoted to SVP of business and legal affairs, and was named deputy general counsel in 2011 when the video, digital and games teams merged together under Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.


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