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Veteran Warner Bros. Pictures executive Veronika Kwan Vandenberg is stepping down as president of international distribution, the studio announced Monday.
She’ll transition to an advisory role before leaving the lot at the end of the year. Her successor is Tom Moller, who currently serves as EVP in international.
Kwan Vandenberg’s move continues an old-guard exodus like that of former marketing honcho Sue Kroll and, before her, Greg Silverman.
Several leadership changes have come with news of her departure. They are as follows, according to a memo sent to studio employees obtained by TheWrap:
Jim Wuthrich has been named President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment and Games, with full oversight of those businesses. Jim will report to Ron Sanders and work closely with Blair Rich who oversees home entertainment marketing of new theatrical releases.
Jessica Schell, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Film, for Home Entertainment will continue to report to Jim Wuthrich and jointly report to Wuthrich and Rich on the slate.
David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will continue to run the videogame division reporting to Wuthrich.
More to come. Read the announcement:
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution and Growth Initiatives, Warner Bros. Pictures, will transition from that role to serve as Special Advisor to Ron Sanders, President, Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Kwan Vandenberg plans to leave the Studio by year’s end.
“Veronika has led our international film distribution division since 2000, and Warner Bros. could not have had a better representative in the global marketplace,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “She’s highly regarded, well-liked and recognized as a great partner by filmmakers, exhibitors and her peers. Her deep knowledge of the business, the international markets and her longstanding relationships have helped us achieve great results. As a China specialist, Veronika was tremendously helpful in shaping our theatrical vision in that complex market. We thank her for everything she’s done for the Studio and look forward to working with her through this transition.”
“Warner Bros. has been my second home and family for almost 30 years. I’ve had the great fortune to work with so many talented, creative and visionary people and I shall miss them all,” said Kwan Vandenberg. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished over the years and I’m particularly proud of the great team we have in place. I want to thank Toby and Kevin (Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO) for their support, and I look forward to working with Ron. I have spent many years traveling for the job, so I am especially looking forward to spending time with my family and taking some time for myself, and I am excited about what this new chapter in life will bring.”
“As I used to say at CinemaCon, a bientot, auf wiedersehen, xie xie, arigato, gracias mis amigos.”
In her most recent position, Kwan Vandenberg had oversight of the Studio’s international theatrical distribution activities, including local productions and a special focus on theatrical strategy in China. In her role focusing on film distribution in China, Kwan Vandenberg worked closely with Gillian Zhao, Warner Bros.’ Executive Vice President and Managing Director for China, and together they negotiated Warner Bros.’ first film investment partnership with Wanda and Tencent.
Prior to her current post, Kwan Vandenberg served as President, Worldwide Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, where she was instrumental in helping realign the international and domestic distribution divisions and setting the release dates to fully maximize the global revenue-generating potential of Warner Bros.’ theatrical releases. She also served as President of International Distribution for 15 years, overseeing all international sales and distribution matters, cultivating and growing relationships with exhibitors, film makers, partners, producers, peers and colleagues, representing the company on the MPA International Theatrical committee.
Throughout her tenure with Warner Bros., Kwan Vandenberg oversaw the distribution of over 350 titles (including local-language titles), amassing over $40 billon in box office receipts. The Studio has been a market leader, ranking #1 or #2 12 of the last 17 years, including five years over $3 billion at the international box office. During this period, she oversaw the release of 30 films that grossed over $500 million, including 15 over $600 million. Kwan Vandenberg was involved in managing the Studio’s most successful film series, including the eight Harry Potter films (with last film in the series becoming the Studio’s highest international grossing-film at $960 million), “Fantastic Beasts,” Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy, Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy, “The Matrix” trilogy, the Sherlock Holmes films, the New Line horror universe (including “The Conjuring,” “Annabelle” and “IT,” which has become the highest-grossing horror film of all-time), the “Hangover” films, with “Hangover 2” becoming the highest-grossing R rated comedy internationally, and the DC superhero universe. Kwan Vandenberg also oversaw all of Clint Eastwood’s films, including “Gran Torino,” ($119 million internationally), the companion pieces “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” and “American Sniper” ($197 million internationally). Additionally, she worked closely with Ben Affleck in bringing his directorial hits “The Town” and Academy Award Best Picture winner “Argo” to international audiences.
Kwan Vandenberg’s accomplishments also include shepherding the first film ever to release simultaneously in every major country at the same hour around the world (“The Matrix Revolutions” in 2003 which went on to gross $460 million and became the then-highest R rated movie of all time).
Kwan Vandenberg joined Warner Bros in 1990 and rose through the ranks to become one of the youngest presidents at the studio in 2000. Prior to Warner Bros., she worked in international marketing for Lorimar Film Entertainment and at the German American Chamber of Commerce.
Kwan Vandenberg grew up living in six countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia before moving to the United States, and speaks fluent German in addition to her knowledge of French and Cantonese.