WarnerMedia appoints Ricky Ow as APAC prez for distribution, ad sales

MUMBAI: WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks has named Ricky Ow as president distribution and advertising sales for Asia Pacific. This move unites Turner Asia Pacific and HBO Asia. Consequently, HBO Asia CEO Jonathan Spink will be leaving the company.

This is the first of a series of key appointments announced by WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Distribution and Advertising Sales, Europe, Middle East, and Africa and Asia Pacific president Giorgio Stock.

Ow, previously Turner Asia Pacific president takes on responsibility for all entertainment networks, distribution of all networks, advertising sales and the kids networks operations in the Asia Pacific region and reports into Stock.

Spanning 42 countries in 14 languages, WarnerMedia Entertainment Asia Pacific brands include Warner TV, Oh!K, Mondo TV, Mondo Mah-Jong TV, TABI Channel, Tabi Tele, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, POGO and Tuzki together with HBO, HBO Signature, HBO Family, HBO Hits, Cinemax and Red as well as the OTT service HBO Go, and two SVOD services HBO On Demand and Ding Ji Ju Chang. WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks is also responsible for the distribution of CNN International, HLN and BabyFirst in Asia.

“Ricky has done a tremendous job in building a team that has transformed our business in Asia, investing in award-winning premium content, developing completely new revenue streams and optimising operations. I’m confident that he and his extended team will deliver even more to our partners and invest further in what we offer our fans,” said Stock.

“I want to thank Jonathan, who over his long tenure has led the Asian team with passion, entrepreneurship, and a focus on innovation, applying throughout his good humour and a healthy dose of common sense. I am looking forward to having his precious advice and his insights through the end of this year as we bring our companies together and prepare for a new chapter,” Stock said.

“It has been a truly exceptional experience leading HBO Asia over these past years. It has been a wonderful journey and I wish the company every success for the future,” said Spink.

With the new organisation, Clement Schwebig has been promoted to WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Southeast Asia, Pacific and China MD effective immediately. Schwebig will be based in Singapore and continue to report to Ow.

In his new role, Schwebig will oversee all entertainment networks including HBO and its family of channels, OTT service and two SVOD services, Warner TV, local content channels Red and Oh!K, as well as Cartoon Network and the kids portfolio, and all digital ventures. His responsibilities include operations, advertising sales, and the distribution of all networks including CNN International, HLN and BabyFirst.

Previously, Schwebig was Turner Asia Pacific CFO, SVP Business Development and Licensing for the region, as well as China MD. Over the past 6 years, he has been leading the financial growth, as well as successfully driving the company’s strong expansion beyond its core business in China and location-based entertainment businesses. Schwebig joined Turner in 2013 after spending more than a decade managing substantial TV operations in Europe and Asia.

“Clement is a seasoned business leader who has substantial experience encompassing all aspects of business operations in TV broadcasting and production, strategy, finance, and sales. With his deep understanding of our business in Asia Pacific, Clement is ideally suited to lead our networks and commercial operations in Southeast Asia Pacific and China, playing an even more active role in shaping the direction and strategy as we transform into a modern media company,” said Ow.

“I’m grateful for the confidence Giorgio and Ricky have placed in me. Combining the strengths of all our teams behind powerful brands like HBO, CNN and Cartoon Network positions us for a sustainable growth of our business as we evolve rapidly in order to engage our consumers across multiple touchpoints, with standout content, leveraging data and technology. I have a deep respect for the success HBO Asia has achieved and will build upon the legacy established by Jonathan and his executive team. I am particularly looking forward to working with the Turner and HBO teams in Singapore, which are known in the industry for their creativity and innovative mindset,” said Schwebig.

Stock also announced changes in the key support functions of finance and legal

HBO Asia executive VP Steve Burton will leave the company. “Steve’s many contributions to the HBO Asia business have been integral to the business success over the years, with his drive and commitment,” said Stock. “He leaves us well-equipped to take advantage of future opportunities.”

Jamie Friend, currently WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks, Europe, Middle East and Africa senior VP, CFO has been promoted to take on the additional responsibility of helming the company’s financial planning and analysis for Asia Pacific as well. “Jamie’s business acumen, innovative thinking and strategic vision is a powerful combination which has already been invaluable to our existing EMEA operation. Now he will bring those skills to the Asian region to shape and support how we evolve the business in today’s fast-changing media landscape” said Stock.

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