Josh Berger, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros UK, Ireland and Spain, and President of Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, has decided to leave the company after over 30 years of service.
He will step down in December and will remain as an advisor to the senior management until the middle of 2021 for the Harry Potter franchise in his capacity as an executive producer on the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts film series and upcoming BBC documentary Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History, among other projects.
Gerhard Zeiler, Head of International, WarnerMedia said: “Josh is one of the most respected people in the industry. He has been integral to the ongoing success of our Warner Bros. businesses in the UK, Ireland and Spain, and has been an incredible steward to the Harry Potter franchise. He was also the first Warner Bros country manager, pioneering the model which shapes the international organisation today. It is fair to say, that thanks to his leadership and energy our company is for sure better off today. I respect his desire to take on new challenges and, along with all of our colleagues across the company, wish him the very best.”
“There’s nothing more amazing than seeing stories being brought to life on screen,” said Berger. “Over the last 31 years at Warner Bros, I’ve been lucky to see every part of that process in action. I’ve seen ideas being formed and deals being struck, magic being made in front of the camera and behind it, and stories being told from – and sent to – all corners of the earth. I’m so grateful to all my colleagues for making this place feel like home for so long and wish them all the best for the future.”
In relation to Berger’s departure, Polly Cochrane has been promoted to Country Manager for WarnerMedia UK and Ireland, overseeing all commercial and group marketing activities in the region and will report directly to Priya Dogra, head of WarnerMedia EMEA & Asia.
Cochrane has been with WarnerMedia for 11 years and most recently served as Executive Vice President and Group Marketing Director, Warner Bros UK and Ireland, and Chief Marketing Officer, Harry Potter Global Franchise Development.
Dogra commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Polly to my leadership team. Polly brings a strong and inclusive leadership style, combined with a proven innovative approach to driving our beloved brands and franchises. As she takes on this broader set of responsibilities, our business will benefit from her wealth of experience in the UK media sector. I’m looking forward to tapping into the fresh thinking she will bring to the table.”