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Yesterday β€” September 17th 2019Broadband TV News: People

Michael Schuld new head of Deutsche Telekom’s TV unit

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Michael Schuld will take over the management of Deutsche Telekom’s TV business unit.

From November 1, 2019, Schuld will be responsible for all issues relating to IPTV platform MagentaTV and Deutsche Telekom’s television business in Germany. Previously, he was responsible for communications and sales marketing.

Schuld succeeds Wolfgang Elsäßer, who has moved to Swisscom in Switzerland.

“With MagentaTV, Deutsche Telekom offers a compelling TV platform that is constantly coming up with innovations. I am pleased to further expand this important pillar of our growth strategy,” Schuld said.

Tom Craig steps down as Tele2 EVP Sweden Business

By Robert Briel

Tom Craig steps down from his role as EVP Sweden Business of Tele2 to spend time with his family.

Fredrik Stenberg, Executive Vice President Transformation & Operational Excellence, becomes acting EVP for the Sweden Business unit.

Tom Craig started working for Tele2 as a Strategic Advisor to the B2B business in 2018. He assumed the position as Executive Vice President Sweden Business when the merger between Tele2 and Com Hem was completed on 5 November 2018. Tom Craig has now decided to step down from his role to spend time with his family, but he will remain available to support Tele2 in an advisory role.

“I thank Tom for his efforts during this very transformational period for Tele2’s Sweden Business unit and I am glad that he will continue to share his knowledge and experience with us. At the same time, I am certain Fredrik Stenberg will do a great job until we have appointed a permanent successor,” said Anders Nilsson, President and CEO, Tele2.

“The Sweden Business unit is changing rapidly, becoming leaner, more efficient and focused on the services and solutions where we can provide outstanding customer experiences. I know my Sweden Business colleagues will do a fantastic job going forward and I am confident we have set ourselves up for future success,” added Tom Craig, EVP Sweden Business.

Fredrik Stenberg, Executive Vice President Transformation & Operational Excellence, becomes acting Executive Vice President Sweden Business until a permanent successor has been appointed.

Before yesterdayBroadband TV News: People

Discovery names Mike Rich as Head of Sports Marketing Solutions

By Julian Clover

Discovery has announced the appointment of Mike Rich as Head of Sports Marketing Solutions.

In the new role, Rich will lead Eurosport’s commercial sales organisation.

He’ll take up the London-based role on September 23 and will report to Andrew Georgiou, who joins next month as President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions.

Rich joins Discovery from Fox Networks where he served as Executive Vice President, Sales & Content Partnerships in Asia. During his time at Fox Asia, he developed their product offering, social media and digital video and created an in-house content creation studio.

Rich has also worked for GroupM Entertainment Sports & Partnerships and Publicis Content Ventures.

Dominik MΓΌller new CEO of Swisscom Broadcast

By JΓΆrn Krieger

Swisscom Broadcast, the technical services subsidiary of Swiss telco Swisscom, has appointed Dominik Müller as its new CEO.

Müller (pictured left), currently, head of network, IT and operations, will take over the position following the retirement of Jean-Paul de Weck (pictured right), who has been the CEO of Swisscom Broadcast for 12 years.

Müller, who will commence his new role on November 15, 2019, has been part of Swisscom Broadcast for more than 10 years and a member of the management board for the last years.

“I look forward to further developing Swisscom Broadcast’s proven strategy, driving forward innovation, opening up new market potential and steering Swisscom Broadcast towards a successful future alongside our dedicated employees,” said Müller.

Former HBO Europe producer Gabor Krigler launches Joyrider

By Robert Briel

Gabor Krigler, formerly an award-winning producer and showrunner for HBO Europe, has launched Joyrider Television, an independent development and production facility based in Budapest.

Krigler will develop and invest in projects from established writers across Europe, as well as developing in-house projects.

“We have a number of projects under consideration, and I am confident we will be announcing a greenlit project in late autumn,” said Krigler.

”We are focusing on developing high concept, genre-based serial narratives with strong thematic cores, exploring the human condition in an entertaining and meaningful way, aimed at international markets.”

Krigler is also Head of Studies at the Midpoint TV Launch programme, the training and networking platform for script and project development organised by FAMU in Prague, and is a visiting lecturer at several creative workshops including Cinelink Drama, Serial Eyes, and the Torino Film Lab.

“Mentoring and tutoring at these prestigious programmes gives me the opportunity to find new talent and scout for fresh and unique projects” added Krigler.

During his time at HBO Europe in Hungary, Krigler produced a number of award winning drama series, including all three seasons of both Aranyelet (Golden Life) and Terapia (In Treatment), and season 2 of Tarsas jatek (Shall We Kiss).

Társas játék and Aranyélet are both available on all HBO services across the globe, including the US. In 2019 Aranyelet won all 13 categories of the Hungarian Film and TV Awards in the TV Drama category.

Joyrider has agreed a non-exclusive development deal with HBO Europe. Joyrider has also established a working relationship with MediaXchange, the London and LA based international tv drama accelerator.

KPN to appoint Dominique Leroy as CEO

By Robert Briel

KPN is set to appoint Dominique Leroy (54) as the next CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management of KPN, with effect from December 1, 2019.

She succeeds Maximo Ibarra, who as previously announced resigned from his position effective 30 September 2019.

Dominique Leroy will join KPN from Proximus Group (formerly Belgacom), where she is currently CEO, a position she has successfully fulfilled since 2014. Leroy joined Belgacom in 2011 and was from 2012 onwards a member of the management committee with responsibility for the consumer business. Prior to joining Proximus, she worked for 24 years at Unilever, ultimately as Managing Director of Unilever BeLux and member of the Unilever Benelux management committee. She has a degree in Business Engineering from the Solvay Business School and is fluent in Dutch, French and English.

Chairman of KPN’s Supervisory Board Duco Sickinghe: “We are very pleased to appoint Mrs. Dominique Leroy as the new CEO of KPN. Dominique is a dynamic, customer-focused and engaging leader with a wealth of experience in the telecommunications industry. With her strong strategic, operational and communication skills, we are convinced that Dominique will be able to successfully execute on KPN’s strategy.

“At the end of last year KPN unveiled its 2019 – 2021 strategy, prioritising sustainable growth in the medium term. Good progress has been made to date, driven by our dedicated Board of Management and Executive management team, and executed by our colleagues throughout the firm. With Dominique at the helm, the Supervisory Board is confident that we will see further progress in the delivery of KPN’s strategy, positioning KPN for further success in the years to come. Continuing to execute against that strategy will remain KPN’s focus.”

Dominique Leroy: “I am very excited to be nominated as the next CEO of KPN. KPN has a high- quality reputation and an excellent leadership team. I am looking forward to working with them and the wider KPN team to execute on the existing strategy and help KPN to become a premier digital services and communication provider with the customer at its heart.”

Mr. Joost Farwerck will temporarily assume the position of Chairman of the Board of Management and Executive Committee from 1 October 2019 until 1 December 2019, in addition to his existing role as COO.

The Central Works Council has expressed its support for the appointment of Mrs. Dominique Leroy through a positive advice. Her remuneration package will be in line with KPN’s remuneration policy, with a base salary of EUR935,000 per year and KPN’s regular short and long term incentive plans. Shareholders will be informed about the intended appointment at an Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders, which will be convened in due course.

Meanwhile, Proximus issued the following statement “With regrets, the Board of Directors of Proximus has taken note of the decision of Mrs. Dominique Leroy to leave Proximus because she has been offered a new opportunity abroad, despite the Board’s unanimous willingness to reconduct her mandate as CEO of the company. The mandate of Mrs. Leroy will end on December 1, 2019.

“The Board wishes Dominique all success in her further career and will start immediately the procedure for selecting a new CEO.”

Triax appoints Uffe Byskov as Chief Commercial Officer

By Robert Briel

Uffe Byskov has joined the Triax Group as Chief Commercial Officer.

Uffe’s formidable profile in international B2B technology sales, business development and leadership will strengthen Triax’s commercial focus and strategic business development across the two business areas, solutions and products.

Uffe comes with many years’ experience from IBM and a proven track record in sales excellence, most recently as VP Strategic Alliances and Emerging Markets EMEA for Stibo Systems.

“I am delighted to welcome Uffe Byskov as our new CCO and member of the Executive Management Team,” says Peter Lyhne Uhrenholt, Triax CEO. “His wealth of international sales experience will be pivotal in realising our strategic direction, fulfilling our growth aspirations and strengthening relationships in the Partner ecosystem.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Triax executive team,” says Uffe Byskov. “I look forward to developing Triax’s commercial profile, delivering business growth across all business areas and markets, and bolstering our commitment to Triax business partners around the world.”

Uffe will be based at Triax A/S headquarters in Hornsyld, Denmark, leading a commercial management team spread across subsidiaries in Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany, Austria, UK, Spain, Hungary and Dubai.

Andrew Browne steps down as SES CFO

By Robert Briel

Andrew Browne, CFO of SES, has decided to step down from the position in October for personal and family reasons and to pursue other interests.

The search for a successor is underway and an announcement will be made in due course.

Browne has a long history with SES, starting with the acquisition of New Skies in 2006, when, in addition to being CFO, he was acting CEO during the integration of operations into SES. He rejoined SES in 2010 as CFO, leading the company through an important period of consolidation and alignment.

In 2013, he became CFO of O3b Networks, a business in which SES had a meaningful stake. Together with Steve Collar, then O3b Networks’ CEO, Andrew developed O3b Networks into a successful business before the full acquisition by SES in 2016. With the appointment of Steve as the CEO of SES in April 2018, Andrew once again joined SES as CFO, reshaping and streamlining the finance organisation and reinforcing SES’ position with the investment community.

Collar said: “In the last 18 months, we have made important strides at SES. Andrew is stepping down with the business in excellent shape: clear strategic direction, a strong balance sheet and a broad and talented finance organisation. We will miss him, and I am sure that our paths will cross again in the future.”

Romain Bausch, chairman of SES, said: “Andrew has made a huge contribution to the success of SES for well over a decade and he leaves with our very best wishes and as a lifelong friend of the company.”

Collar added: “It has been a privilege to have been part of SES since 2006, participating in its success, continued transformation and ongoing leadership of the industry. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and opportunity to work closely with both Steve and Romain over the past decade as well as with the tremendous leadership and finance teams over the years. I wish all at SES every success in the future.”

On Air BV appoints Marco Verhoek as COO

By Robert Briel

Dutch live event streaming platform On Air BV has appointed Marco Verhoek as Chief Operating Officer.

Marco comes to On Air with more than 25 years of operations, strategy and corporate leadership experience within the broadcasting and broadcasting technology and equipment space.

At On Air, Marco is responsible for managing operations and growth of the Hilversum office, making sure On Air delivers premium quality content to it’s viewers. Marco will bring a combination of extensive operations and event management experience to ensure seamless service for On Air clients.

“I am excited about Marco joining our growing team. We are at a point where his experience will help us maintain outstanding quality of service both to our viewers and our clients” said Jakub Krampl, CEO and co-founder of On Air.

“Every live event is unique, and we need to make sure the process of filming, production and delivery is flawless. Marco is here to build a team to execute on that as well as to run the internal operations of a growing business.”

“It is a great opportunity for me to join On Air in this early stage and build the operational part of the company,” added Marco Verhoek, COO.

On Air BV operates a live event streaming platform On Air, delivering premium entertainment content to it’s viewers on connected TVs, desktop and mobile. On Air gives viewers access to premium original content across music, comedy and theatre. The Company is headquartered in Hilversum, The Netherlands.

Guillaume van Gaver to leave Tele2

By Chris Dziadul

Tele2’s executive VP international markets Guillaume van Gaver will leave the company on September 15.

According to Tele2, his departure will be as a consequence of its international consolidation for a stronger focus on Sweden and the Baltics. Gaver will leave to pursue a continued international career outside of the company.

Commenting on the departure, Anders Nilsson, president and CEO, Tele2, said: “Guillaume has done a fantastic job since he joined Tele2 in 2016, ensuring that our international markets have developed into impressive profitable businesses. We have now entered a new chapter of Tele2’s journey, focusing on our core markets, and Guillaume has concluded the tasks he set out to complete when he joined the company. I want to thank Guillaume for his commitment and leadership, and wish him the best of luck in his upcoming endeavours”.

Van Gaver added: “ I have had a great time at Tele2, with experiences from a number of countries and colleagues to remember. Together we succeeded in challenging markets like Kazakhstan and built strong foundations for future growth in the Baltics. I wish my colleagues all the best for the future”.

Following van Gaver’s departure, Petras Masiulis, CEO Baltics, will assume the responsibility for Tele2’s businesses in the Baltics and Germany, while Greg Lensch will continue as CEO for Tele2 IoT. Both will report directly to Anders Nilsson, but not as part of the group’s leadership team.

Matjaz Merkan to head Telekom Slovenije

By Chris Dziadul

Matjaz Merkan has been appointed the new CEO of Telekom Slovenije, effective September 16.

He replaces Rudolf Skobe, who left the post in April.

Slovenia Times reports that Merkan was formerly the head of the US-owned company Weiler Abrasives.

He was one of three candidates shortlisted for the position at Telekom Slovenije, which will be for a four-year term.

In his comments about his appointment, Merkan spoke of Telekom Slovenije being an “excellent company” that will have to become “even more digitised, advanced and agile” in the future.

Levira promotes Martti Kinkar

By Chris Dziadul

Martti Kinkar has been appointed the director of innovation and development and a member of the management board at Levira.

Up until now he has been the head of corporate media development at the Tallinn-based company.

Commenting on the development, Tiit Tammiste, chairman of the management board at Levira, said: “During his two years in Levira, Martti Kinkar has initiated and implemented a number of outstanding projects, including the provision of an interactive television experience in partnership with Votemo, an automated sports broadcast project at Estonian sports halls, attracting international TV channels to Estonia due to Brexit and much more. With his experience, energy and determination, Martti is well placed to guide Levira’s future development”.

Kinkar added: “As Levira’s next development, I see an even greater internationalisation of services, for which the company has already made many improvements. We certainly want to offer our customers a wider range of services than the current broadcasting and distribution of TV channels. Market competition is intensifying and the media sector is changing very fast, so we have to keep up with the changes and help our clients. In terms of technology and know-how, Levira has all the prerequisites to offer its service portfolio to customers in Estonia and elsewhere”.

Prior to Levira, Kinkar worked for seven years at telecom operator Tele2, most recently for four years as a value-added services manager and before that as product

Former BBC Studios exec to head Synamedia’s addressable advertising business

By Julian Clover

Synamedia has hired former BBC Studios executive Scott Kewley to lead its addressable advertising and data monetisation business.

As NDS, the company worked with Sky on the development of the AdSmart personalized ad targeting platform.

Kewley joins Synamedia from UK OTT aggregator TVPlayer, where he was MD. Before that he worked for BBC Studios, the former BBC Worldwide, as a senior executive with the brief of developing a new OTT service. He also spent six years at Liberty Global, where he held the role of Director of Digital Entertainment for Virgin Media. Additionally, he spent 10 years with Walt Disney, most recently as International Director of Engineering.

“Our track record with customers, strong vision and growth ambitions continue to attract the crème de la crème – and Scott is no exception,” said Jean-Marc Racine, Chief Product Officer at Synamedia.

Separately, Synamedia has appointed Bijal Patel as Chief Financial Officer. Patel has held a variety of senior finance roles in international technology businesses.

TV 2 Sumo selects Norigin Media for TV Apps

By Julian Clover

TV 2 Sumo, the streaming service run by Norwegian commercial public broadcaster TV 2, has selected Norigin Media to build and launch its new TV Apps.

“TV 2 Sumo chose Norigin Media due to its modern framework for developing TV Apps. We are happy with the scalability of the framework, as we plan to reuse the technology across multiple platforms, which is key for us to invest wisely,” said Marius Bjerke, Product Director, TV 2 Sumo.

The apps will be built for a number of large screen devices, including Samsung and LG Smart TVs, as well as the Sony PlayStation. There will also be versions for pay-TV operators allowing their subscribers to directly access the OTT library.

“This agreement is unique as it will allow us to build a modern and stable user experience across large screens, as well as help TV 2 Sumo to broaden their reach on pay-TV operator set-top boxes,” said Ajey Anand, CEO, Norigin Media. “TV 2 Sumo is the leading commercial streaming service in Norway and we are very excited that they have chosen to use our technology.”

Its expected the first deployments will be seen before the end of the year.

Aleksandr Tkachenko leaves 1+1 Media

By Chris Dziadul

Aleksandr Tkachekno has left his position as general director at Ukraine’s 1+1 Media to pursue a career in politics.

Telektrikika> reports that his departure has resulted in a change in the management structure of the holding that continues the decentralisation policy approved this January and with a view to make the group profitable by 2021.

1+1 Media will now have a six-member board, with Tkachenko as its honorary president.

Morten Bentzen to leave Telia

By Chris Dziadul

Telia Denmark’s CEO Morten Bentzen has decided to leave after four years in the position.

He has been with the company for a total of 15 years and responsible for, amongst other things, business and partner sales.

Commenting on his departure, he said: “It’s one of the hardest decisions of my career. I love my talented and dedicated colleagues in Telia incredibly much. And the technological development and relentless competition in the telecommunications industry has a particular dynamic that I will miss. However, the time is right to try out new challenges. I will use the time to come to consider carefully what the next step in my career should be. Telia Denmark has a strong management team, so I am perfectly confident passing the baton on”.

Emil Nilsson, who is responsible for Telia’s activities in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Eurasia, added: “I fully understand Morten’s decision, but I am personally sorry that our paths have to be separated. Morten is a fantastic colleague who has made a valuable contribution to Telia Denmark’s development over the last several years. I will miss his winning mentality, professionalism and indomitable prowess – and wish him all the best in the future. At the same time, I am pleased that Thomas Kjærsgaard, who has delivered great results for Telia’s commercial business, has agreed to step in as interim CEO of Telia in Denmark”.

Kjærsgaard as been director of Telia’s business operations in Denmark since the summer of 2018. As a member of the executive board, he has helped define the direction for Telia in Denmark with a focus on digitalisation, IoT solutions and new business and partnership models.

Prior to joining Telia, Kjærsgaard was a sales director at Microsoft and at the forefront of digitisation projects for some of the largest companies in Europe for more than 10 years.

Work to find Telia Denmark’s new CEO has begun. Bentzen will continue in the role until the end of August, after which Kjærsgaard will take over.

New BBC Studios role for Zbigniew Pruski

By Chris Dziadul

Zbigniew Pruski has been appointed the commercial director for branded services, Central and Eastern Europe, BBC Studios.

At the same time, Pierre Cloete will take on the same role for sub-Saharan Africa. According to BBC Studios, the appointments follow the recent reorganisation of CEMA from general market management to a focus on specialist lines of business.

Both roles will report into Louise La Grange, SVP branded services commercial and will be responsible for delivering branded services revenue and profit across CEE and sub-Saharan Africa, in line with targets and growth ambitions and through expert client management and new business development.

Pruski, who will be based in Warsaw, takes up this new and expanded position for the region after a successful tenure as head of affiliate sales for BBC Studios in Poland, where he was responsible for developing strategic distribution initiatives for the BBC channel portfolio.

He joined BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) in 2011 from Discovery Networks Central Europe where he was affiliate sales administration executive.

He began his TV career at distribution and management agency Program as the key account manager for broadcasters such as CNBC Europe, BBC Worldwide and NGC.

Commenting on the two appointments, Louise La Grange, said: “The appointments of commercial directors for sub-Saharan Africa and Central and Eastern Europe signals our on-going commitment to the African and CEE markets and a continued local presence on the ground. Pierre and Zbigniew have proven track records in the industry and I am confident that their local insight, expertise, and great relationships will give us the focus, consistency, and effectiveness we need to put us in the best position to achieve our ambitions for growth.”

Ravinder Takkar to head Vodafone Idea

By Chris Dziadul

Ravinder Takkar has been appointed the CEO of Vodafone Idea with immediate effect.

Currently Vodafone’s representative in India, he takes over from Balesh Sharma, who has requested for personal reasons to step down from the position.

Sharma will take up a new role with Vodafone Group, which will be announced in due course.

Takkar’s previous roles at Vodafone Group include CEO of Vodafone Romania.

Luke Bradley-Jones to run Disney+ in Europe

By Julian Clover

Disney has hired Sky’s Luke Bradley-Jones for the rollout of its Disney+ streaming product in Europe and Africa.

Most recently chief marketing officer, Bradley-Jones joined Sky in 2012 as director of TV products, and was responsible for the strategy, marketing and commercial performance of products including Sky+, Sky Go, Sky Box Sets, Sky Store and Sky Q.

He subsequently took on responsibility for the marketing, media and creative strategies for all of the broadcasters products across Sky TV, Sky Broadband and Sky Mobile.

Based in London, Bradley-Jones will report into Jan Koeppen, Disney’s president of TV and direct-to-consumer in Europe, and Michael Paull, president of Disney streaming services.

Prior to his time at Sky Bradley-Jones worked for BBC Worldwide, where he was managing director, BBC.com & Global iPlayer.

He spent two years as an advisor to the fledgling Pluto TV and was a governor of Haverstock School in Camden.
Disney’s steaming service, which is being priced at $12.99 in the US market, will launch this autumn.

AMC to combine Networks with Studios operation

By Julian Clover

AMC Networks is to integrate its AMC Studios operation into its Entertainment Networks Group following the departure of programming chief David Madden, the company has announced.

Madden, who is president of programming for the Entertainment Networks Group and AMC Studios, will step down later this month.

The Entertainment Networks Group lists the company’s four scripted networks, AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV and IFC, and AMC Premiere. It’s run by Sarah Barnett, president of the Entertainment Networks Group for AMC Networks.

“We are already seeing the benefits of our entertainment networks working more closely together – the next logical strategic step is to integrate AMC Studios into this same group, so that the people making our celebrated series are more closely coordinated with the marketing, scheduling and publicity teams who connect our shows to passionate fans,” Barnett said. “We believe this new structure best positions our nimble organization for success in an increasingly competitive environment.” She added that Madden would be missed.

Madden’s programming team has worked on shows including The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and Killing Eve. “I’m ready to move on and focus on new opportunities in the rapidly expanding content space, leaving the current programming and studio operations in good hands and positioned well for the future,” said Madden.