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Ex-Canal+, HBO exec joins Discovery Sweden as GM

Discovery Networks Sweden has hired a former Canal+ and HBO Nordic exec as its general manager to succeed Harald Stromme.

Henrietta ZeuchnerHenrietta Zeuchner (pictured) will join from Stockholm-based publisher Berling Media in September, at which point she will take command of channels such as Kanal 5, Eurosport, Discovery Channel and TLC.

Stromme had been overseeing both Discovery Networks Sweden and Norway, but left his post after a disagreement about the direction of the business.

He had taken over from Discovery Sweden chief Jonas Sjogren, who resigned from his post nearly a year ago after a decade with the business, while digital chief Sindre Østgård also exited in February.

Zeuchner is tasked with delivering Discovery Sweden’s “biggest ever content investments”, including local productions, the Winter Olympics that Discovery Networks International now distributes following a US$1.45 billion deal with the IOC in 2015, and Allsvenskan football, to which Discovery last week acquired rights.

Zeuchner will join the Discovery Nordics regional management team.

She is currently CEO and president of Berling, where she is credited for overseeing a significant corporate transformation by focusing on digital platforms.

Before that was part of the team that launched popular regional SVOD service HBO Nordic and was country manager for France-based pay TV player Canal+. She has also worked for management consultant Arthur D. Little and computer firm IBM, plus was marketing director for Net 1.

“Henriette has extensive experience in the media and telecom industry, and brings a strategic mind-set which will be invaluable in her new role,” said Michael Lang, president of international development, digital and Discovery Nordics.

“By also driving an impressive transformation and streamlining in the book publishing sector recently as a CEO, she has proven that she can maneuver the digital change that we are now right in the middle of in Sweden, I am highly confident that she will lead our Swedish team to continued success,” he added.

Former Miramax chief Lang took overall control of the Nordics last November, six months after Sjogren’s exit from Sweden.

Zeuchner said: “The acquisition of The Olympic Games for the next eight years, and now Allsvenskan, makes it also one of the most forceful media businesses in the country and the Nordic region in general. So it definitely feels like I am taking on one of the most exiting roles in the industry right now.

“The fact that the television industry is going through an incredible transformation is also a key trigger for me, and I hope to utilise some of my previous experiences in my new role.”

She added Discovery had shown “consistently shown a willingness to invest in content, in particular local entertainment and sports”.

“They are also willing to innovate and take risks, and I know that there are many strong people in the Nordics team as well as throughout Discovery’s Eurosport and digital organisation,” she said. “I am therefore confident we have the muscles and mind-set to succeed in the future.”