Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, Warner Bros.’ longtime head of international distribution, is planning to leave the studio by the end of this year after nearly three decades at the Burbank-based film company.
The latest leadership shuffle comes amid a larger regime change at the Time Warner Inc.-owned studio. The studio’s veteran marketing chief Sue Kroll stepped down this year in a broader consolidation of the film studio’s operations under Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich.
A widely respected executive, Kwan Vandenberg, 54, has led Warner Bros.’ international film distribution division since 2000 and was a key part of the studio’s push into China, now the world’s second-largest box office market.
During her tenure, the international box office became dramatically more important to Warner Bros.’ bottom line. She oversaw the release of major franchises — such as the “Harry Potter” films and Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy — outside the United States and Canada.
She first joined Warner Bros. in 1990 as a sales analyst, after the studio bought Lorimar Film Entertainment, where she worked in international marketing.
Hong Kong-born Kwan Vandenberg was ideally suited for the international job at Warner Bros., having grown up living in six countries and learning to speak English, Cantonese and German by age 6.
“Warner Bros. could not have had a better representative in the global marketplace,” Emmerich said Monday in a statement.
Tom Molter, who previously reported to Kwan Vandenberg, will take over the international distribution operations at the studio, reporting to worldwide theatrical distribution and home entertainment President Ron Sanders.
In a Monday memo to the staff, Warner Bros. announced Kwan Vandenberg’s departure as part of a larger reorganization in its film division.