Advanced Television

WBD appoints Marini as Japan GM

May 14, 2024

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has announced Buddy Marini as its new GM of Japan. Based in Tokyo, Marini will join the company on June 3rd and report to WBD Asia Pacific President, James Gibbons.

In his new role, Marini will oversee all operations in Japan except the Theatrical and Warner Bros Studio Tour Tokyo: The Making of Harry Potter businesses – spanning Home Entertainment, Digital & TV Licensing, Consumer Products, Anime Production, Franchise and Pay TV Networks. He will be tasked with driving growth and revenues business-wide, including expansion across distribution and sales strategies, digital platforms and local anime production. 

Marini joins WBD with over 25 years experience across media and technology companies in Japan, China and the US. Most recently, he founded mobile platform Mangamo, offering one of the largest mobile manga libraries to fans worldwide. Prior to this, Marini was GM, Japan for gaming company Supercell, and CEO for Hulu Japan, where he successfully oversaw the streaming platform’s development and growth into one of the country’s leading services. He has held additional leadership positions at Avex Group, Universal Studios and Mitsui-Sumitomo Investment Bank.

Buddy brings an impressive track record to WBD, with two decades of broad industry experience across several markets and verticals,” said Gibbons. “Japan is a key growth driver, with opportunities to scale further through franchise/IP development, distribution partnerships and content for both local and global platforms. Buddy’s expertise, proven leadership and commercial mindset will be key as we look to deliver these ambitions.”

Marini added: “I am honoured to join WBD at such an exciting time in the industry. Japan holds a special place in the world of entertainment, and I look forward to working with the talented team at WBD to deliver world-class content and unforgettable experiences to audiences in Japan and around the globe.”

WBD has also announced the promotion of Chieko Nishi as Vice President, Head of Networks, Japan, replacing Glen Kyne, who has decided to depart the company and will leave on July 5th. Nishi joined WBD in 2023 to lead Content and Network Operations bringing more than 17 years’ experience to the business, including as the Head of Studios at Spotify Japan, where she oversaw strategic partnerships, content experience and creator outreach. During the past year, Nishi has been instrumental in consolidating the seven-channel linear portfolio under a new JV with J:COM, and spearheading new commercial partnerships locally. Nishi will report to Marini.

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