After 11 years in the company, Antony Root, Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Production at HBO Max Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery at the end of the first quarter. His departure comes six months after his commissioning and production team were let go, with Warner Bros. Discovery now commissioning European originals and acquiring through regional teams for both streaming and TV channels, rather than exclusively for HBO Max.
After a couple of years at Sony Pictures Television, Root joined HBO in 2011 to lead original programming and production for its HBO Europe arm. He then took on his current position in 2021. While the executive is retiring from corporate life, he plans to pursue “a range of different interests, some educational, some professional and some personal,” although details were not disclosed.
During his tenure, Root commissioned more than 1.000 episodes of scripted, documentaries and unscripted shows in total for HBO brands. Notable credits include “The Pack” and “Blinded by the Lights” in Poland; “Burning Bush” and “Wasteland” in Czechia; “Golden Life” in Hungary; “Collective” in Romania; “Patria” and “30 Coins” in Spain; and “Beartown,” “Beforeigners” and “Kamikaze” in the Nordics.
“Leading a European production group within the HBO family has been an honour and privilege, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity. When I joined in 2011, we were producing in only four countries in Central Eastern Europe, and the focus was on single documentaries and local adaptations of international scripted formats. Within a few years we were developing and producing our own locally created series and expanding our original production footprint to the Nordics, Spain and, more recently, France. Now, with the new, combined service set to launch, it is time for me to bring my executive career to a close and pass the baton onto others,” Root said.
Priya Dogra, President and Manging Director EMEA at the group, commented: “Antony is a true giant of the European TV industry, and during his career at HBO, he has commissioned and executive produced some of the most iconic series of recent years across the Nordics, Central Eastern Europe and Spain. He built and managed talented teams and left an indelible mark on the quality of productions from HBO in Europe. Some time ago, Antony agreed to postpone his planned retirement and to continue to lead his team and the various ongoing projects through the merger. With that work complete, I would like to wish him all the best as he retires from his executive career.”
Now, with the new, combined service set to launch, it is time for me to bring my executive career to a close and pass the baton onto others.” Antony Root EVP of Original Programming and Production at HBO Max Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)