Warners gives Kroll the world


As part of the ongoing restructuring of Warner Bros., Sue Kroll has been promoted to the newly created post of president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures.

Kroll most recently was president of marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures International, a post she assumed in 2000.

The move, announced Tuesday, comes less than a week after the exit of domestic film marketing head Dawn Taubin and Kevin McCormick's official promotion to president of production. The changes at the studio began in late November when Jeff Robinov ascended to the head of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, giving him oversight over all film matters.

The latest move means that both domestic and international marketing divisions will report to a single office and is a response to the importance of overseas markets to the company's bottom line. The past decade has seen the shrinking of the release dates between the U.S. and international marketplace as well as between international marketplaces themselves.

During Kroll's tenure at Warner Bros. Pictures International, the division grossed more than $1 billion for seven consecutive years, with 32 releases exceeding $100 million apiece internationally. In 2004, the division passed the $2 billion mark, becoming the first studio to do so.

Kroll oversaw the rollout of some of the biggest releases in Warners history, from the "Harry Potter" films and "Matrix" sequels to such films as "Batman Begins" and "I Am Legend." Her efforts helped make "Troy" and "Beowulf" international hits after soft receptions domestically.

"Sue has done a really good job for us running international for seven years," Warners president and COO Alan Horn said. "We have realized growth in the international marketplace to the extent that the boxoffice, even in this past year, reflects a weight that exceeds domestic. What it says is it's a big world out there, and when the pictures do perform internationally, they can perform very well indeed."

Said Robinov: "From my point of view, she is as good as it gets. She's a really smart strategic thinker, and she understands the moviemaking process and the filmmaker dynamic. I think she has everything it takes to pull this off in a really great way."

Kroll will oversee the strategic creation and implementation of marketing campaigns for domestic and international releases and direct all aspects of marketing, advertising, media planning, promotion, publicity and research. She also will be charged with streamlining Warners' overall theatrical marketing operations.

Known for being hands-on, Kroll said her new position will call for more delegating. "Everyone has complete autonomy within their divisions, and that will become even more so as this starts to take shape and form," she said. "Of course, initially I will be looking at everything. I need to get up to speed on domestic and who is who and who does what."

Before heading international, Kroll served as senior vp international marketing. She joined the studio in 1994 as head of programming and operations at Warner Bros. International Channels. She also worked for TNT, Cartoon Network and several Viacom divisions.