(September 6, 2001 - Burbank & Hamburg, Germany) - In an unique strategic move, Warner Bros.’ highly respected veteran executive Willi Geike has been promoted to the newly created position of Vice President & Managing Director for Warner Bros. Pictures Germany and Warner Home Video, Germany & Austria. Geike’s expanded responsibilities will include German distribution and marketing for Warner Bros.’ feature film and home video businesses in Germany and Austria, and German language co-productions and acquisitions. He reports to Sue Kroll, President, International Marketing, Veronika Kwan- Rubinek, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures and Ron Sanders, Senior Vice President and Co-Managing Director, Europe, Warner Home Video, in their respective areas. Geike will also be working closely with Simona Benzakein, Vice President, European Production, Warner Bros. Pictures in the production of local-language films. Geike will continue to be based in Warner Bros. offices in Hamburg, Germany, overseeing a staff that includes executives responsible for marketing, sales and finance for Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Home Video, as well as the acquisition of local-language theatrical productions. “Willi’s background and experience make him uniquely suited to head up our newly restructured operations,” said Sanders. “He is the perfect choice and we are thrilled to once again have him as part of the WHV team.” “Willi is not only an expert in the motion picture and home video businesses, he knows the German and Austrian marketplaces better than anyone else in the entertainment industry today,” said Kwan-Rubinek. “Willi is a great executive and is extraordinarily well versed in all facets of the film, video and DVD operations,” said Kroll. “Willi’s expertise and this new combined set up immediately gives Warner Bros. a strategic and business advantage in the distribution and marketing of our the theatrical and home video releases.” In June 2001, Geike orchestrated a deal between Warner Bros. Pictures Germany and German film industry leader X-Filme calling for a long-term, multi-faceted production and distribution agreement. Geike has been with Warner Bros. in various capacities for 15 years, serving most recently as Vice President and Managing Director, Germany and Austria for Warner Bros. Pictures. He’s also served as Managing Director, Marketing Director and Marketing Manager for various Warner Bros. home video and theatrical distribution operations in Germany. Prior to his association with Warner Bros., Geike held marketing positions at United Artists and UIP Germany.
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