Discovery Global Streaming Head Peter Faricy Stepping Down

Courtesy of Discovery Inc.
Peter Faricy

Avi Saxena, Karen Leever and Lisa Holme will take over his duties, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Friday.

Peter Faricy, who was named in 2018 to head up Discovery's global digital and streaming businesses, is leaving the media group.

On Friday, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said Faricy was stepping down as CEO, global direct-to-consumer, where he oversaw the company's digital and direct-to-consumer businesses.

"After a few months of discussions, Peter Faricy has decided that now is the right time to leave Discovery. I want to thank Peter for all of his hard work, and contributions which have allowed us to make meaningful progress. But I also recognize, and am grateful for, his personal sacrifices over the last 2 years, much of which he has spent away from his family in Seattle. Peter has decided that time with his family will come first once travel starts up again," Zaslav announced in an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Also Friday, Discovery in an SEC filing said Faricy told the company on June 17 that he intended to resign, effective July 15.

Zaslav also announced Avi Saxena, Karen Leever and Lisa Holme will be promoted to take over Faricy's duties on the digital and direct-to-consumer front. Having previously run Amazon Marketplace, the e-commerce giant's third-party seller business, Faricy while at Discovery has led its digital and direct-to-consumer businesses, including Discovery's Go TV Everywhere products, as well as Motor Trend, Eurosport Player, Discovery Kids, Dplay, and Discovery’s strategic alliance with PGA Tour to create the global home of golf.

"DTC is critical to our future, and I look forward to working even more closely with these exceptional executives, as well as the entire DTC organization," Zaslav told employees. 

Zaslav's internal memo follows:

I want to update you on some important leadership changes across our Direct-to-Consumer businesses. After a few months of discussions, Peter Faricy has decided that now is the right time to leave Discovery. I want to thank Peter for all of his hard work, and contributions which have allowed us to make meaningful progress. But I also recognize, and am grateful for, his personal sacrifices over the last 2 years, much of which he has spent away from his family in Seattle. Peter has decided that time with his family will come first once travel starts up again.

Under Peter’s leadership, we have built a formidable foundation to further deliver on our DTC strategy. One of his most significant achievements is the world-class leadership team he has helped us build across the DTC organization. Today, Discovery is fortunate to have such a strong, experienced and capable team. We have significantly more talent across tech, product and design, data and analytics, marketing, programming and operations and we will continue to invest in these critical areas.

Given this strong foundation and leadership team, we will not be replacing Peter’s role but rather take this opportunity to further elevate our DTC leaders and business, which should help streamline our decision making and further accelerate our progress. So I am pleased to announce that Avi Saxena, Karen Leever and Lisa Holme will now report directly to me, effective immediately.

Avi will continue to lead all global technology and drive our ambition to have a best-in-class platform to enable great consumer experiences across all of our DTC products. Avi also will assume responsibility for Food Network Kitchen and the Magnolia DTC product strategy, with Tyler Whitworth now reporting to him. Karen will continue to lead our fast-growing TVE/DGO business. She will also continue as project and product lead for all the work around our aggregated app strategy in the US. Lisa, who heads up Content & Commercial Strategy, recently joined us from Hulu, where she handled Content Acquisitions. In a short period of time, Lisa has assumed an important leadership role in our DTC business, and will retain responsibility for all the content and programming strategies around our aggregated app, as well as our partnership strategy.

JB will now assume oversight for Dplay and all of our sports DTC offerings, as well as MotorTrend. Going forward, Win Kolasastraseni, Alex Kaplan and Alex Wellen will report directly to JB, effective immediately. Win will continue to lead Dplay, our fast-growing consumer offering that will continue expanding into new markets and has huge potential to scale further with a compelling mix of entertainment and sports. Given the global and sports-related connections of Discovery Golf and MotorTrend, we believe it makes the most sense to align these businesses with JB’s organization. Alex K will continue to run Discovery Golf, which includes GolfTV and Golf Digest, and Alex W will maintain his oversight of MotorTrend. Simon Wear, who heads GCN/Play Sports Network, will report into Andrew Georgiou so they can collaborate even more closely to drive cycling as a critical part of our sports portfolio.

DTC is critical to our future, and I look forward to working even more closely with these exceptional executives, as well as the entire DTC organization. We will continue to drive strong communication and collaboration across all our DTC products and teams, as well as further develop key global DTC capabilities such as product and technology, performance marketing, data and analytics, and customers service – critical competencies we must master. I remain very confident about the power of our brands, appeal of our authentic talent, passion and loyalty of our fans, and our ability to transform the company to be successful in the new streaming ecosystem that is taking hold around the world. Please join me in wishing Peter all the best. We are grateful for his contributions and are in terrific hands with the leadership team he has built to drive our DTC strategy forward.

David