Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann becomes CEO of Telepool / traditional Munich company now fully owned by Westbrook Inc.

January 24, 2023

Los Angeles media and entertainment company Westbrook Inc. today announced that experienced German film and media expert Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann will be appointed CEO of its international licensing and distribution company Telepool GmbH effective March 1, 2023.Higuchi-Zitzmann's appointment as Managing Director follows Westbrook's full acquisition of Telepool in December 2021 as part of its international expansion strategy. As CEO, Higuchi-Zitzmann will be responsible for all of Telepool's business areas, ranging from content development, co-financing and co-production activities and German-language license trading to the global sales label Global Screen and the home entertainment provider EuroVideo. Global Screen, one of Europe's leading providers of global sales, is responsible, among other things, for worldwide sales for successful titles such as the franchise “The School of Magical Animals” (parts 1 & 2), the most successful German cinema film of 2022 (distributed by LEONINE); the award-winning television film “The Wannsee Conference” from Constantin Television (Prix Europa 2022 as Best European Feature Film and Gold Award at the New York Film and Television Festival 2022) as well as the new high-end series from Studio Hamburg Production Group “Davos”, which is currently is filmed in Switzerland.“Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann brings over 25 years of extensive, excellent experience in international and national licensing, cinema distribution and TV distribution as well as in the production of feature films and high-end series to Telepool,” says Westbrook Inc. CEO Ko Yada. “As CEO of Telepool, Yoko will further expand the already impressive achievements of the Telepool team to bring international film and television titles to German-speaking Europe and exploit local content internationally. She will expand Telepool's development and production activities and drive Westbrook's further development in the European markets as it builds a leading independent global content studio. We are very pleased to have found a managing director in Yoko who shares our vision of connecting people around the world through globally successful storytelling.” Founded in 2019, Westbrook quickly made a name for himself in the film and television industry with hit titles such as the multiple Golden Globe winner “King Richard,” the Emmy winner “Red Table Talk” and the hit series “BEL-AIR” on the streaming service Peacock.“Westbrook is a globally successful pioneer in all areas of the entertainment industry and I am very pleased to be able to help expand the company's global footprint,” said Telepool CEO Yoko Higuchi-Zitzmann.“We will expand the connection between the two companies and strengthen Westbrook's presence in the international content market with the help of Telepool's enormous sales and distribution infrastructure. With its almost 60-year history of first-class storytelling, Telepool is one of the most respected names in international sales and the German-language licensing business. As CEO, my job will be to drive the growth of the group of companies with a top content supplier like Westbrook as a shareholder. For me, this means – in addition to the core business of licensing trading – also continuing to expand and dynamize new, growing business areas such as co-productions and content development.”Higuchi-Zitzmann brings to Telepool over two decades of management and team leadership experience in development, production, financing, distribution, sales and acquisitions at some of the most respected companies in the film and television industry. Most recently, she was managing director of Pantaleon Films GmbH (“Army of Thieves”) from co-founder Matthias Schweighöfer, one of the most successful independent German production companies. Pantaleon Films is part of Pantaflix AG and cooperates with well-known partners such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Paramount and Warner Bros. She previously held leading positions in production and licensing at Studio Hamburg Production Group and Constantin Film AG and, years before that, as Head of Sales and Acquisitions at Telepool.Pantaflix CEO Nicolas Paalzow commented on Higuchi-Zitzmann's departure as follows: “During her time as managing director of Pantaleon Films, Yoko initiated important initiatives and, above all, provided important impetus in the development of new material, from which we will benefit in the next few months. Now we are losing a highly professional and valued colleague. But we accept and understand her desire to switch back to sales after years on the producer side and therefore wish her only the very best for her professional future!”