(July 30, 2014 – London and Burbank) – Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced that it has created the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development (HPGFD) team, based in both London and Burbank. The news follows last year's announcement that the Studio had formed an expanded creative partnership with J.K. Rowling.
The HPGFD team will be led by Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who now adds President of HPGFD to his current role. The team will develop and execute a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand and its ancillary businesses, working closely with J.K. Rowling's team at The Blair Partnership and other internal and external stakeholders and partners. Berger will be supported by Polly Cochrane, based in London, and Paul Condolora, based in Burbank, who joins the company this week.
The creation of HPGFD reflects the continuing expansion of the Harry Potter franchise that now includes, among other projects: a new film series in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; the award-winning Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter; the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan and the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida; a suite of Harry Potter digital services and products including J.K. Rowling’s own initiative, Pottermore; and a future Harry Potter stage play, which will open in London’s West End next year.
Josh Berger commented, “With Harry Potter’s consumer touch-points continuing to grow and flourish, I am confident that this talented, cross-company global team will enable us to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead - helping to bring Harry Potter in all its future incarnations to fans all over the world."
Cochrane, who is currently SVP & Group Marketing Director, Warner Bros. UK & Ireland, will add the new responsibility of SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, HPGFD to her existing remit. She will focus on the optimisation of the Harry Potter franchise globally through a cross-divisional marketing lens, upholding the brand's premium values.
In her six years with Warner Bros., Cochrane has overseen the development of a best-in-class, integrated marketing function within Warner Bros. UK, spanning films, TV shows, video games and licensed products, delivering lifecycle marketing campaigns for the company’s world-class properties.
Condolora takes up the newly created role of SVP, HPGFD & Harry Potter Digital in Burbank and will lead the business development around Harry Potter, with a focus on digital opportunities to serve and engage fans around the world.
He joins from Turner Broadcasting System, where he was most recently SVP, Strategic Development and Business Operations in its Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media Division, responsible for the business growth of three networks: Adult Swim, Boomerang and Cartoon Network.
Also moving over to the team will be London-based Suzie Boavida who takes up the role of Business Development Director, HPGFD. Boavida will work with Condolora on business development, particularly in the areas of new markets and revenue streams, in close collaboration with the rest of the HPGFD team – Burbank-based Xochitl Ruiz, Moira Squier, Angela Kato-Alvarez, Christine Kittelsen, Cynthia Gonzalez and Rebecca Muh, and Fiona Hickley in London.