ViacomCBS has hired Amazon executive Naveen Chopra as its new CFO, effective Aug. 10.
He succeeds Christina Spade, who will transition into an advisory role after the company’s second-quarter earnings call. Spade has been the highest-ranking CBS corporate executive left at the firm after the December recombination of Viacom and CBS.
Chopra joins as executive vp and CFO from Amazon, where he served as CFO of Amazon’s devices and services business. In his new role, “Chopra will be responsible for ViacomCBS’s financial operations, including treasury, tax, accounting, investor relations, information security and real estate, as well as global corporate development and strategy.” He will report to ViacomCBS president and CEO Bob Bakish.
Chopra’s technology background fits in with the company’s increasing focus on growing its streaming and digital platforms, including CBS All Access and Pluto TV.
“Naveen is a talented leader who combines financial, strategic and operational expertise with hands-on experience growing innovative, consumer-focused businesses across the media and tech sector,” said Bakish. “His experience scaling and driving the financial strategies for growth businesses – including free ad-supported and subscription streaming, as well as with digital devices and services – will be instrumental as we continue to unlock the value of our assets.”
He added: “I am grateful to Chris for her many contributions to ViacomCBS, including her two decades at Showtime and CBS and the pivotal role she played in the integration of CBS and Viacom. I want to extend my deepest thanks to her for her leadership and counsel, and for helping to ensure a smooth transition.”
Said Chopra: “Since its merger, the company has gained strong momentum amidst a rapidly evolving landscape by leveraging its subscription and advertising businesses, diverse distribution channels, formidable library and strong content pipeline. I look forward to working closely with Bob and the team to apply my experiences across consumer products and services, streaming and digital advertising to help write the next chapter of this amazing company.”
Chopra has more than 20 years of experience in media and technology, including nearly eight years, as ViacomCBS highlighted, as the CFO of consumer-facing businesses. In his Amazon role, he oversaw financial operations for some of Amazon’s fastest growing and most strategic consumer businesses, including Alexa, Echo, Fire TV, Ring, Kindle and the Amazon Appstore.
Previously, Chopra spent two years as CFO of audio streamer Pandora where he even served, for a period, as interim CEO. During his tenure, the company launched its Pandora Premium subscription service.
Prior to that, he served in a number of senior positions at TiVo, including four years as CFO and a period as interim CEO. At TiVo, he led strategy initiatives and restructuring efforts that culminated in the company’s sale in 2016 to Rovi. Earlier in his career, Chopra held business development roles at the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and early-stage venture-backed companies, including WebTV and Ofoto.