Malhotra, who reports to Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, will be responsible for the rollout and management of the new streaming service when it gets to the region.
In the near term he will manage HBO GO, WarnerMedia’s existing OTT streaming service available in eight territories across Southeast Asia.
“Under Malhotra’s leadership, WarnerMedia expects to launch HBO Max in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam in the future, including an expanded content offering for the entire family and a premium new platform that would be hosted on HBO Max’s tech stack, providing a more stable and consistent streaming experience than HBO GO,” the company said in a statement. “Malhotra will also be responsible for exploring possible opportunities to launch HBO Max in new and fast-growing Asian streaming markets such as India.”
Malhotra most recently served as regional lead for Disney Plus in Southeast Asia, where he was responsible for overseeing the launch and operations of Disney’s streaming services in the region, including Disney Plus, Disney Plus Hotstar and Hotstar. He also led the content sales and distribution division as part of The Walt Disney Company’s direct-to consumer & international business in South APAC and Middle East.
HBO Max was launched in May last year and has added11.1 million HBO/HBO Max subscribers in the U.S. as of the end of Q1 2021. The platform will roll out in 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean on June 29. HBO’s existing OTT services in Europe are scheduled to be upgraded to HBO Max later this year. By the end of 2021, HBO Max is expected to be available in 61 global markets.
The HBO Max team in Southeast Asia will build on the partnership with Clement Schwebig, MD, India, Southeast Asia, and Korea for WarnerMedia. Other key team members include Magdalene Ew (head of content) and Yasmin Zahid (head of distribution) and Leslie Lee (head of kids, APAC).
David Simonsen, who has played an important role in the growth of HBO GO in Southeast Asia to date, will continue to “make a significant contribution to WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer efforts in the region,” and will work closely with Malhotra.