Mertens has been the managing director of Eleven Sports in Belgium and Luxembourg since October 2015. She took the business into profitability and in the highly connected country achieved 100% household distribution.
“Alongside her Belgium and Group colleagues, Anouk has helped turn our Belgian operation into a strong and profitable business in a short space of time. We are delighted that she has agreed to help us improve our operations around the Group,” said group CEO Marc Watson.
As Group COO, Mertens will amongst other things; manage budgets in all areas, review market performances and seek synergies and operational efficiencies across the group.
Mertens will also continue in her role as Managing Director in Belgium and Luxembourg.
“Having spent the last three years leading Eleven Sports’ operation in Belgium and Luxembourg, I have developed an intimate knowledge of the business and its global operations. I am thrilled to take up a formal role in the company at Group level at such an exciting time,” commented Mertens.
Prior to joining Eleven Sports, Mertens was managing director of Audio and Visual at leading media business Sanoma. Before that, she spent seven years as VP of Television at cable operator Telenet.
The announcement was made by Eduardo Zulueta, who was recently named president of AMC Networks International (AMCNI).
The following will all report to Mr. Zulueta:
– Manuel Balsera has been named Executive Vice President/Managing Director for AMCNI Southern Europe. Based in Madrid, Balsera was most recently SVP of Sales, Marketing and Digital at AMCNI Southern Europe where he oversaw marketing, affiliate and ad sales, digital and business development areas for the company’s 24 TV channels in Spain, Portugal and France.
– Ricardo Debén has been named EVP/MD for AMCNI Latin America. Based in Miami, Debén was most recently Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, AMCNI Latin America where he oversaw financial management of the company’s portfolio of brands, including AMC, SundanceTV, El Gourmet, Más Chic, Film & Arts and Europa Europa.
– Kevin Dickie has been named EVP/MD for AMCNI UK, which includes Poland, Middle East and Africa in addition to the UK. Based in London, Dickie was most recently SVP, Channels Group, UK, MEA and Poland for AMCNI UK, where he spearheaded content and brand strategy for the region’s portfolio of nine channels led by AMC, SundanceTV and CBS Studios International joint venture channels CBS Reality, CBS Drama, CBS Action, CBS Europa and Horror Channel.
– Levente Málnay has been named EVP/MD for AMCNI Central and Northern Europe. Based in Budapest, Málnay was most recently SVP of AMCNI Central and Northern Europe with oversight of the company’s regional portfolio of 16 brands. He began with the company in 2009 overseeing management of the Central Europe portfolio.
“These outstanding leaders have played vital roles in the success of AMC Networks International’s strong portfolio of channels,” said Zulueta.
“Their skills and experience will help AMCNI build on its strong position in the marketplace, with our premium quality content offering and the value we bring to our distribution and advertising partners.”
She’ll take up what’s arguably the most powerful job in domestic football anywhere in the world early in 2019.
Richard Scudamore, who has been executive chairman, will step down at the end of the year.
The Premier League clubs have already agreed to split his role, with Dinnage becoming chief executive, and the search for a non-executive chair will now begin.
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who was in charge of the appointment process described her as the ” outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption”.
JB Perrette, President and CEO Discovery Networks International, commented: “Susanna has been a terrific leader for Discovery over the last 10 years. She has a strong understanding of brands and running diverse media businesses both in the UK and more recently with Animal Planet globally.
Last November, Dinnage was appointed to the new role of global president, Animal Planet. Beforehand she was president of UK/Ireland and Chief Content Officer for Discovery Networks International.
Babak Fouladi will be appointed to the newly created executive management role of Chief Technology & Digital Officer (CTDO). The CTDO role is created to respond to ever rapidly changing technologies and digitalization of processes and services. Babak Fouladi, currently Group Chief Technology and Information Officer at MTN Group, has a proven track record in technology and the telecommunications industry. He will assume responsibility for all technology developments and performance of KPN’s systems and network infrastructure. The appointment will be effective as of 4 December 2018, subject to works council advice.
Hilde Garssen will be appointed to the position of Chief People Officer, effective as of 10 December 2018. She will succeed Erik van ‘t Hof, who temporarily assumed this role and now will be appointed to the position of EVP Leadership, Talent & Culture. Hilde brings in a wealth of experience in creating a high performing culture, building a people strategy focused on developing talents at all levels, and driving employee engagement.
Prior to joining KPN, Babak served as Group Chief Technology and Information Officer at MTN Group (South Africa) since 2016. Before that he was part of the Executive team as Chief Technology Officer of Vodafone Spain and Vodafone Romania. He was also Director for IT Development, and Vice President for Multimedia and System Integration in the UK and later Vice President, Systems Integration in Russia for Ericsson. He has also held senior positions at 3UK, lastminute.com, Oracle and The World Bank.
Hilde Garssen (1973) is an experienced human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience in developing HR strategies to meet changing business needs, creating innovative and effective HR strategies to attract and retain talent, and establishing talent management processes.
Prior to joining KPN, Hilde served as Senior Managing Director Business Services at ABN AMRO Bank since February 2016. Since 1998, she held numerous Human Resources roles within ABN AMRO Bank, including Chief Human Resources Officer, and Managing Director Change, Integration and Management Group Coordination & Reward.
Babak Fouladi and Hilde Garssen will join KPN’s executive committee and both will report to Maximo Ibarra, CEO of KPN.
Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange Group has been elected as its Chair, with Chua Sock Koong, Group CEO of SingTel Group as Deputy Chair. As GSMA Chair, Richard will oversee the strategic direction of the organisation, which represents more than 750 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem.
“I am honoured to be elected to serve as Chair of the GSMA and look forward to working closely with the rest of the Board, the GSMA leadership team and our entire membership to address the critical issues facing our industry and our customers,” said Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange.
“Mobile operators and our wider industry have a key role to play in promoting a safer and more inclusive digital world, while building the infrastructure and services that will carry us forward as we enter this new era of intelligent connectivity.”
The GSMA Board has 26 members, including 25 operator representatives from the world’s largest operator groups as well as smaller, independent operators with global representation. The GSMA’s Director General Mats Granryd also serves on the GSMA Board.
Leonid Sirotinin has been appointed the finance director at the Russian cable operator ER Telecom.
According to Comnews, he has joined the company from Svyazoy Euroset, where he held the same position.
In his new role, Sirotinin will be responsible for the full range of issues related to the company’s financial activities and investment planning.
He has replaced Yevgeny Pegushin, who has been appointed MD of ER Telecom Holding and also a member of the board of directors.
Other recent changes at ER Telecom saw the resignation of its DG Andrei Semerikov last month, with Andrei Kuzyaev taking over his duties.
Semirikov became the deputy chairman of the board of directors.
According to Ekathimerini, this has come after Lefteris Kretos, the general secretary for information and communication, sought their resignations.
It adds that sources close to Kretos say there was a breakdown in communication between the government and ERT’s management.
Thalassinos, on the other hand, said there was excessive interference by unions in the broadcaster’s operation and Costopoulos referred to a “relentless war from within”.
Costopoulos had been head of ERT since August 2017.
In this newly created role, Haymi will lead SPI’s International brand marketing efforts. In this position, Haymi will be responsible for advancing SPI’s brand reputation across all platforms, strategic communications, media planning and buying, media relations and publicity. Haymi will work closely with SPI’s sales (distribution) teams and clients across cable, Broadcast TV, Telecom operators and on-demand services.
Berk Uziyel, SPI CEO, said: “SPI continues to invest in valuable talent to achieve our ambitious international business goals. We are excited that Haymi is bringing his marketing and digital experience as our business is becoming increasingly global reaching over 55 million subscribers. Haymi has been a pioneer in building brands in media, his collaborative and energetic style will contribute to the brand’s reputation and our strategic growth.”
Haymi is a seasoned digital media and technology professional with over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, publishing, broadcasting and dot com businesses.
Before joining SPI, Haymi played different leadership roles at Dogan Media. In his last position as VP Digital Media & Sales he led the digitalisation processes of one of the largest broadcasting media providers in Europe, Do?an TV, flagship brands Kanal D and CNN Turk. Haymi also helped launch BluTV, which has become the largest OTT service in Turkey. He also led all the digital marketing & monetization efforts at one of Europe’s most prominent news outlets, Hürriyet. He was also co-founder of content start-up Boomads, the largest blog network in Europe, headquartered in Berlin. Before that Haymi founded Turkey’s first online kids and youth platform Tipeez.com.
Haymi is a graduate of Columbia University Business School; he also served as executive board member in Mobile Marketing Association & IAB.
Rick Medlock joins the video technology business that was transferred from Cisco to Permira funds last week (October 29).
Medlock joins from Worldpay. He also brings experience from Inmarsat and Misys.
Yves Padrines, CEO of Synamedia, said, “Rick has a phenomenal track record transforming technology businesses and ensuring they are both financially and operationally strong. His understanding of finances for both private equity and public companies, combined with his tech industry expertise, made him the perfect choice for Synamedia.”
Rick Medlock, CFO of Synamedia added: “It’s rare to get the opportunity to lead the finance office of a new company with the scale of Synamedia, its enviable market position and its loyal customer base. Having spent eight years as CFO of NDS, I jumped at the chance of joining the exceptional leadership team and shaping the next exciting chapter for the business.”
At Worldpay Medlock oversaw the payment company’s listing on the London market with a market valuation of £5 billion and also took NDS public on NASDAQ.
According to its operator Megogo, it is a 24-hour service and offers Ukrainian alternative music, art, parties, youth entertainment and its own productions.
It adds that the channel’s schedule is based on music videos, grouped into several thematic blocks, and is in the future likely to include at least one in-house show in primetime.
Megogo has operated a section named Megogo Live on its OTT platform for over two years. It features live broadcasts of festivals, concerts and unique events.
However, it came up with the idea of launching a TV channel of the same name only this summer.
The Megogo Live channel is currently being offered free of charge to Megogo customers and is likely to also be made available on other platforms by the end of the year.
Member states of the ITU have re-elected Houlin Zhao of China as secretary general during the Union’s 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Zhao won the position with 176 votes, from 178 ballot papers deposited, and contested the position unopposed. An information and communication technology (ICT) engineer, he has served in a variety of senior management position at ITU and will begin his second, and last, four-year term on January 1, 2019.
Zhao said: “We continue to connect the unconnected. We are strengthening partnerships to implement our common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere.”
Prior to first being elected as ITU secretary general in 2014, Zhao served eight years as ITU deputy secretary general. He also served two elected terms as director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), which develops technical standards to ensure worldwide ICT interoperability. Before that, he was a senior counsellor with TSB for 12 years.
In putting forward Zhao for re-election, Wei Miao, minister of industry and information technology of the People’s Republic of China, said: “Since being elected secretary general of ITU in 2015, Houlin Zhao has attained marked achievements in overcoming the challenges that ITU faces in advancing its work and activities by way of promoting reform and innovation.
“His pragmatism and spirit of teamwork has been widely recognised. We are confident that Mr Zhao will undoubtedly … continue to lead ITU in playing an even more important role in the worldwide development of information and communication technologies.”
In a statement, HT says that her term of office will expire on that that date and she will continue her career outside the HT Group from the following day.
Commenting on the development, Davor Tomaskovic, president of the management board of HT, said: ‘During her term of office in the management board, Marija has made an extraordinary contribution to organisational culture changes and to achieving strategic and business goals of HT. I am convinced that with her experience and her professional knowledge, she will continue to successfully develop her career”.
Felkel said: “Although I decided to accept new challenges in my career, I am exceptionally proud of the fact that during the last three years we have raised the human resources management in HT to a higher level, becoming a more desirable employer to experts and young talents, and that we introduced digital innovations and STEM proficiencies into everyday work. I hereby wish the whole HT team a successful continuation of their work and best of luck both in their professional and private life”.
Felkel became CHRO at HT in 2016, having previously been the human resources director for Siemens in the Adriatic Region.
HT’s supervisory board will announce her successor as soon as she has left the company.
James Baker has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Red Arrow Studios, the global production network of German media company ProSiebenSat.1.
Baker, currently COO of Red Arrow Studios, will succeed Jan David Frouman, Chairman and CEO, and a member of ProSiebenSat.1′ Executive Board, wo has decided to leave both posts when his current management contract concludes at the end of February 2019 after 15 years with ProSiebenSat.1.
Baker will report directly to Max Conze, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1.
“Red Arrow Studios is an important part of ProSiebenSat.1, and I would like to thank Jan for successfully building and leading the group from the start. I’m also very pleased that we’ve been able to promote James Baker to lead the company going forward. He knows Red Arrow inside and out, and together we will expand our production footprint, further strengthen the operational performance of the Red Arrow companies and particularly develop a broader German content production ecosystem,” said Conze.
In his new role, Baker will manage the 20 production companies that are part of Red Arrow Studios’ global network, take responsibility for Red Arrow’s strategic expansion initiatives and work closely with Wolfgang Link, Chief Content & Channel Officer, and Henrik Pabst, Chief Commercial Officer (as of January 2019), at ProSiebenSat.1’s Entertainment segment.
Bo Stehmeier, President of Red Arrow Studios International as of January 2019, will report to Baker and oversee TV distributor Red Arrow Studios International and US independent film distributor Gravitas Ventures. Reza Izad, CEO of Studio71, will continue to lead the global multi-platform company and report directly to Conze.
Frouman said: “My time with ProSiebenSat.1 was a defining life experience. Professionally. Culturally. Socially. I have worked with talented colleagues around the world. My decision to leave wasn’t made lightly. But I’m simply ready for a new chapter. James has been a part of the success story since the early days. Red Arrow is in very good hands.”
Dave is responsible for sales, marketing, partners, and delivery in the Americas, and with leading the company’s growth and expanding customer relationships throughout the region.
An accomplished business leader with a successful track record in driving growth, Dave spent two years as Chief Revenue Officer for Rovi/TiVo, where he played a key role at a time of transformation and strong revenue growth in the wake of the TiVo acquisition.
While Dave’s leadership experience has been worldwide, he has a particularly deep understanding of the service provider and pay-TV industries in the Americas region. He spent a total of 15 years in senior sales leadership roles at Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel and built significant pay-TV businesses for both companies.
Yves Padrines, CEO of Synamedia, said, “Dave’s strong industry experience, his years of success in building close, long-term customer relationships, and his striking track record in leading businesses through high-growth periods make him the ideal candidate to lead Synamedia’s Americas business.”
Dave Longaker, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas for Synamedia added, “Synamedia is uniquely positioned to help pay-TV providers and media companies enhance and evolve their video products, protect their revenue and content, and develop the new revenue streams that are so important in this rapidly changing market. Synamedia’s world-class leadership team, the company’s dedication to customer success, and its focus on innovation and growth make this a truly compelling opportunity. I’m thrilled to be joining such a great team and look forward to making Synamedia the most highly valued and trusted brand in video solutions.”
Media press has announced the establishment of media press US, Inc. as well as the appointment of Kathy Weidman as CEO of the new US based subsidiary.
Media press US will service international and North American-based customers providing European metadata and services for 18 countries in 28 languages. Media press’ European metadata services currently reach over 80 million households providing TV, OTT and radio metadata for over 5,300 channels, 880,000 broadcast events per week and 26 million broadcast assets including 9.3 million images with detailed data and descriptions.
Media press group´s US subsidiary will be based in Wayne, Pennsylvania and will bring European metadata services to international and North American customers for content providers, broadcasters, TV operators, OTT services, application services and business intelligence services.
Kris Cechnicki, Chairman of the Board, media press group: “I am so please to have Kathy Weidman lead our efforts in expanding to new markets. Her experience in the metadata industry as well as media press’ 30+ years of experience in the European TV and entertainment metadata business bring a unique opportunity for our continued expansion. We are extremely confident in our ability to bring additional value to the worldwide marketplace. Our highly skilled, localized metadata teams and our cutting edge software solutions will help new clients develop best-in-class services when it comes to the discovery of European content.”
“I intend to stick around, and I look forward to leading Sky into the future,” said Darroch in a conference call hosted by the new owners.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said he was “delighted that Jeremy and many of the senior team” and his senior colleagues had agreed to stay on following the acquisition. He contrasted the acquisition with the acquisition of NBC Universal where a number of management changes were made.
Also on the call, Roberts said he thought Sky to have been “mispriced”, amid regulatory uncertainly and a change in sports rights and competitive opportunities. “Disney bid 10% less and that was exactly the amount that we bid less than we did on Fox. These are super desirable assets that when put together with a company like Comcast and the fit makes us stronger.”
Roberts praised Rupert Murdoch for recognising that television was to transform itself and the choice that customers were seeking. “That allowed him to create all the content, it’s not an aggregator, but a creator and that’s the big difference on the go-forward economics and the growth rates.
Calvo Mawela (pictured at the left) has been appointed Group CEO and Imtiaz Patel (pictured below) has been appointed Executive Chairman of the MultiChoice Group. Further appointments include Tim Jacobs as Chief Financial Officer and Brand de Villiers as Group Chief Operating Officer. The appointments will be effective 1 November 2018.
As announced on September 17, 2018, Naspers intends to list its Video Entertainment business separately on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) and simultaneously unbundle the shares to its shareholders. The listing and unbundling of MultiChoice Group will create an empowered, top 40 JSE entertainment company that is profitable and cash generative. Multichoice Group is expected to be listed on the JSE in the first half of 2019 and will include MultiChoice South Africa, MultiChoice Africa, Showmax Africa, and Irdeto.
Commenting on the appointments, Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk said: “This announcement marks a significant step for the MultiChoice Group as they journey towards a stand-alone business. I am confident that through the leadership of Imtiaz and Calvo, MultiChoice Group will continue on its growth trajectory and unlock even more value for its shareholders.”
MultiChoice Group will be Africa’s leading video entertainment business. In the last financial year, Video Entertainment added 1.5 million subscribers, and generated revenue of ZAR 47.1 billion and
trading profit of ZAR 6.1 billion. It is one of the fastest growing PayTV operators globally and its multi-platform business entertains 13.5 million households across Africa. MultiChoice Group has an
unmatched selection of leading international and local content, a world-class sports offering, and a track record of operating at the leading edge of technology.
Commenting on the appointments, Calvo Mawela said: “I am incredibly excited to lead our team of highly capable executives through this new and exciting chapter for our company. Our leadership team is diverse, experienced and well-positioned to grow our position as the leading entertainment company on the African continent. There are significant growth opportunities for MultiChoice Group in Africa. The combination of MultiChoice’s reach, Showmax and DStv Now’s cutting-edge internet television service, alongside Irdeto’s 360 security suite will provide a unique offering.”
Sahar will lead the region wide development of NENT Group’s Viasat satellite operator business, which offers pay TV services to customers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
In her new role, Sahar will hold commercial, strategic and business development responsibility for Viasat’s satellite operator activities in the Nordic region. Local teams will continue to lead execution across the Viasat organisation, which also includes channel distribution and broadband access (Sweden) business areas.
Sahar joined NENT Group in 2007 and has held several leadership roles at the group, most recently Head of Viasat Sweden. In February 2018, she was named Female Role Model of the Year at Sweden’s Telekomgala industry awards. Sahar will report to NENT Group President & CEO Anders Jensen and will be a member of the Group Executive Management team.
Anders Jensen, NENT Group President and CEO: “Every day, NENT Group reaches millions of customers through our streaming and broadcasting services. We see huge potential in Viasat, which is one of the most recognisable entertainment brands in the Nordic region today. Sahar’s know-how, commercial acumen and unique ability to inspire will be huge assets as we maximise the impact of our Viasat offering by combining central focus with local execution.”
Sahar Kupersmidt, NENT Group SVP & Head of Nordic DTH TV: “It’s been a privilege to lead the amazing Swedish Viasat team and to achieve such great things together. Now I can’t wait to work with my talented colleagues across the whole region. Our people, content and technology will ensure that we shape this highly competitive market for years to come.”
Following Sahar’s appointment, Mahmoud Mustapha, previously Viasat Sweden’s Director of Product and Customer Experience, has been appointed VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden.
Mahmoud Mustapha, NENT Group VP & Head of Pay TV Sweden: “I’m honoured to follow Sahar Kupersmidt in leading the Viasat Sweden success story. We have an unrivalled position in pay TV and have rapidly developed a world class broadband product. We want Viasat’s offering of the very best sports, films and series to be as broadly available as possible. Our priorities are to reinforce our position in satellite, expand our broadband footprint and work even more closely with our partners.”
Both Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustapha take on their new roles with immediate effect.
(On the picture Sahar Kupersmidt and Mahmoud Mustafa)
“I’m delighted to welcome Debbie to our board,” said Patrick Harshman, president and CEO of Harmonic.
“Her strong finance and operational leadership experience will be an asset to Harmonic as we continue to shape the future of video and broadband service delivery through innovations in video SaaS and virtualized cable access solutions.”
Clifford currently serves as the vice president of financial planning and analysis at Autodesk, a 3D design, engineering and entertainment software company. Most recently, she has been a lead architect of Autodesk’s transformation from selling perpetual licenses to becoming a SaaS provider.
Clifford has held a variety of finance positions of increasing scope and responsibility during her tenure at Autodesk, partnering closely with product, marketing and sales leadership. Before Autodesk, she was director of financial planning and analysis at Virage, a video search software company, which she helped take public. She began her career in public accounting at Ernst & Young.
“Harmonic has developed a smarter, faster and simpler approach to gigabit cable access and video streaming that is unique to the industry. I look forward to helping the company continue its cloud-native and SaaS transformation, with a focus on increasing growth and profitability,” said Clifford.
Eutelsat has appointed Gary Donnan its chief innovation officer, effective October 29.
In this role he will report to CEO Rodolphe Belmer and be tasked with defining Eutelsat’s innovation roadmap and the identification and cross-functional development of innovation initiatives across the group. He will also focus on forging stronger links between Eutelsat and the external innovation ecosystem to step up the roll-out of emerging technologies throughout the company.
Donnan brings significant experience in cross-functional and collaborative management. He joins Eutelsat after 11 years at Technicolor where he conducted large-scale transformation projects and held several key positions in the fields of technology, research and innovation, gaining expertise in the broadcasting industry. As a member of Technicolor’s executive committee, he was successively executive VP (EVP) for research and innovation, then EVP for technology and standards. Prior to joining Technicolor, he held similar research and innovation positions at Alcatel, including research and development for the deployment of fibre, cable, radio and satellite networks in various parts of the world.
Commenting on the appointment, Belmer said: “The appointment of Gary to Eutelsat offers a remarkable opportunity for all of us. His extensive experience within leading companies within the video and telecommunication industries will be invaluable in further aligning our innovation roadmap with the evolving requirements of our customers. This appointment is part of our strategy to accelerate our transformation in order to be more open and agile to a constantly changing environment.”