Move comes as studio expands partnership with J.K. Rowling
LONDON — Warner Bros. Entertainment has conjured up the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team, based in both London and Burbank, to “develop and execute a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand and its ancillary businesses,” Warner Bros. said Wednesday.
The move follows last year’s announcement that the studio had formed an expanded creative partnership with J.K. Rowling. It is a response to the continuing expansion of the Harry Potter franchise.
This includes, among other projects: a new film series in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter; the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan; 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.\
The team, which will work closely with Rowling’s people at The Blair Partnership, will be led by Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, who now adds president of HPGFD to his role. He will be supported by Polly Cochrane, based in London, and Paul Condolora, based in Burbank, who joins the company this week.
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 senior VP and group marketing director, Warner Bros. U.K. and Ireland, will add the new responsibility of senior VP and chief marketing officer, HPGFD to her existing remit. She will focus on “the optimization 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 an integrated marketing function within Warner Bros. U.K., spanning films, TV shows, video games and licensed products, delivering lifecycle marketing campaigns for the company’s properties.
Condolora takes up the newly created role of senior VP, HPGFD and 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 senior VP, 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.