ViacomCBS Inc. (VIACA, VIAC) has unveiled a management restructure of its international networks division, which is intended to leverage the company’s expanded operations post-merger to drive new growth opportunities across brands in key international markets. The reorganization will simplify ViacomCBS Networks International into two brand groups and three pan-regional management hubs, reporting to David Lynn, President & CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI).
VCNI Brand Leadership:
Kerry Taylor, currently Executive Vice President of MTV International and Chief Marketing Officer for VCNI UK has been promoted toExecutive Vice President of VCNI Entertainment & Youth Brands reporting to David Lynn and Chris McCarthy, President of Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. Taylor’s new remit will include international oversight of MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and BET. Taylor has been with MTV International since 2007 and has been co-head of MTV International since 2012. Taylor is credited with reinventing the MTV international brand positioning, developing a successful global franchise strategy and commissioning content that drove international ratings successes such as Geordie Shore, The Charlotte Show; Ex on The Beach and Just Tattoo of Us.
Taylor will continue to work closely with Bruce Gillmer, Executive Vice President, Music & Talent Programming/Events ViacomCBS. Jill Offman who previously led Comedy Central and Paramount Network internationally will be dedicated to the international studio business, as Executive Vice President of ViacomCBS International Studios UK.
Jules Borkent has been promoted to Executive Vice President, VCNI Kids & Family, reporting to David Lynn and Brian Robbins, President, Kids & Family Entertainment, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. Borkent has been with Nickelodeon since 2001, having led channel operations and content strategy including programming, acquisitions, originals and digital for Nickelodeon International, which has delivered continued growth during his tenure. Working in close alignment with Nickelodeon US, Borkent established the international programming council and manages a multi-million-dollar content investment across kids & family programming.
VCNI Pan-Regional Leadership:
Maria Kyriacou, who most recently was President of International for ITV Studios, will now join the newly expanded division on February 3, 2020 with a new brief as President, ViacomCBS Networks UK & Australia, which includes responsibility for Ireland, New Zealand and Israel. With focused oversight of ViacomCBS’s operations in its two most valuable international markets, including its free-to-air broadcast networks, Channel 5 and Network 10, Kyriacou will seek content and commercial synergies between the company’s portfolio of networks and streaming services across these English-language markets. Paul Anderson, who is CEO of Network 10, additionally becomes EVP, ViacomCBS Networks Australia and New Zealand with immediate effect, reporting to Kyriacou.
At the same time, Raffaele Annecchino, who is currently President of the division’s operations across Southern and Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will also take on an expanded role in the new structure, with additional responsibility for the company’s operations in Northern and Eastern Europe and key Asian markets. As President, ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA), Annecchino will aim to deliver additional growth in European marketsthrough the closer alignment of its operations across the continent as part of an EMEA structure. With a track record of driving market-beating growth from both on-screen and off-screen activities in the markets for which he currently has responsibility, Annecchino will focus on developing scale in the company’s operations in EMEAA in addition to continuing to be responsible for VCNI’s mobile strategy.
JC Acosta will be the third of the division’s senior pan-regional leaders, having recently been promoted to President, ViacomCBS Networks Americas. In this role, Acosta is responsible for the company’s operations across Latin America – including the key markets of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico – as well as in Canada and the US Hispanic market. He is tasked with the ongoing expansion of ViacomCBS’s portfolio of networks, streaming services and associated businesses across the region including: its fast-growing Studios business in the Americas; Argentinian free-to-air broadcast market leader, Telefe; and, digital services including Porta Dos Fundos.
Both Borkent and Acosta succeeded Pierluigi Gazzolo, who prior to his recently announced promotion to President of Studios and OTT for ViacomCBS Networks International was President, VCNI Americas and Executive Vice President of Nickelodeon International. Gazzolo, who also reports to Lynn, assumed his new dedicated role on the 1st of this year and is an integral member of the VCNI leadership team focused on two key growth areas.
As a result of these regional changes, Mark Whitehead, President & Managing Director of VCNI Asia Pacific, will be leaving the company, at the end of January 2020.