Discovery Communications made moves Thursday to realign its international operations, naming long-time executive Kasia Kieli president and managing director for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and adding responsibilities to two executives within the area.
Discovery said the moves are being made to consolidate its position as a leader in real-life content across all platforms in the markets and create an environment that will help drive growth.
Discovery has made substantial investments in the region over the years, the biggest being its purchase of sports network Eurosport and the acquisition of premium sports rights for the Olympic Games from 2018-2024.
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The company also has launched new direct-to-consumer offerings like Dplay in Italy, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as a streaming service in Germany through a partnership with ProSiebenSat1.
Under the new structure Marinella Soldi will take on the expanded role of chief strategy officer EMEA & managing director Southern Europe and James Gibbons will become general manager UK/Ireland, Australia & New Zealand and head of commercial development EMEA. Both will report to Kieli.
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“Kasia has demonstrated great vision and determination with unmatched expertise in managing what is probably one of the most complex and diverse regions in the world,” Discovery Networks International CEO Jean-Briac Perrette in a statement. “EMEA represents our largest region in terms of revenue as well as the focus of considerable investment in the past and big ambition for the future. I have no doubt that under Kasia’s strong and effective leadership, we will see our combined EMEA organization continue to grow to new heights and in unimaginable ways.”
A 17-year Discovery veteran, Kieli previously managed operations across 112 markets that formed Discovery’s CEEMEA operations.
“I joined Discovery in 2000 because I loved the brand, believed in its values and saw the opportunities it was creating,” Kieli said in a statement. “I still share that very same excitement with millions of viewers who come to watch our programs every day to be entertained, inspired, and amazed. After 17 years, my belief in Discovery is stronger than ever. It is an exhilarating time as we can now offer our fans so many new ways to engage with the content they love through multiple partnerships, platforms and devices.”