Warner Bros. Creates 'Harry Potter' Global Franchise Development Team

Warner Bros. and JK Rowling last year agreed to expand their creative partnership.
Warner Bros. and JK Rowling last year agreed to expand their creative partnership.
 Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures

LONDON – Warner Bros. Entertainment on Wednesday said that it has created the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development (HPGFD) team, based in both London and Burbank.

The news follows last year's announcement that the studio had formed an expanded creative partnership with J.K. Rowling.

The team will be led by Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, who now adds the title of president of the new team to his current role.  

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The new team will "develop and execute a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand and its ancillary businesses, working closely with J.K. Rowling's team at The Blair Partnership and other internal and external stakeholders and partners," Warner Bros. said. "The creation of HPGFD reflects the continuing expansion of the Harry Potter franchise that now includes, among other projects: a new film series in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; the award-winning Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter; the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan and 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."

Berger will be supported by Polly Cochrane, based in London, and Paul Condolora, based in Burbank, who joins the company this week.

Said Berger: "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."

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Cochrane, currently senior vp and group marketing director, Warner Bros. U.K. & Ireland, will add the new responsibility of senior vp and chief marketing officer, HPGFD, to her 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," Warner said.

Condolora takes up the newly created role of senior vp, HPGFD and Harry Potter digital in Burbank and will lead the business development efforts of the group, with a focus on digital opportunities. He joins Warner Bros. 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.

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Also moving over to the team will be London-based Suzie Boavida who will serve as business development director of the new group. She will work with Condolora on business development, particularly in the areas of new markets and revenue streams.

Rounding out the Potter team are Xochitl Ruiz, Moira Squier, Angela Kato-Alvarez, Christine Kittelsen, Cynthia Gonzalez and Rebecca Muh in Burbank, as well as Fiona Hickley in London. 

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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