EXCLUSIVE: WarnerMedia has hired Johannes Larcher, the former Hulu executive and current boss of Shahid, the word’s largest Arabic language streamer, to lead the global rollout of HBO Max.
Larcher will join the AT&T-owned company in August as head of HBO Max International, reporting to Gerhard Zeiler, chief revenue officer of WarnerMedia and president of WarnerMedia International Networks.
His first task will be launching HBO Max in Latin America next year, before turning his attentions to other territories. WarnerMedia would not comment on whether he will have content commissioning powers.
Larcher spent more than four years at Hulu, where he was senior vice president of international between 2009 and 2013. Later, he co-founded U.S.-based SubVRsive, an Emmy-nominated virtual and augmented reality studio backed by ad agency WPP.
Larcher is currently the managing director of digital at Dubai-based media company MBC Group, where he oversees Shahid, which has 1.4M subscribers in the Middle East.
Zeiler said: “His leadership skills, together with his strong direct-to-consumer and digital experience, international business foundations and tech expertise give him the perfect background to drive the growth of HBO Max beyond the United States.”
Larcher added that he wants to make HBO Max an “indispensable streaming service around the world.” He will work closely with the newly-promoted Priya Dogra, president of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks in EMEA and APAC, and Latin America president Whit Richardson.
HBO Max launched in the U.S. in May stocked with shows including Anna Kendrick’s Love Life. HBO is yet to reveal launch plans for other territories, though it is likely that the UK will not be a priority given the company’s content partnership with Sky.
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