Discovery Hires Avi Saxena as Chief Technology Officer

Courtesy of Discovery Communications
Avi Saxena

The former Amazon exec joins the TV networks group as it makes a big direct-to-consumer push across international markets.

As Discovery Communications ramps up a direct-to-consumer push across international markets, the U.S.-based TV networks group has hired Avi Saxena, former vp technology for Amazon Marketplace, as chief technology officer, direct-to-consumer.

Saxena will help oversee Discovery’s direct-to-consumer efforts in the U.S. and internationally with its Eurosport Player, DPlay and new GolfTV streaming service products. He also will lead a new Seattle office as a hub for Discovery's direct-to-consumer team.

The hire was announced by Peter Faricy, another Amazon veteran who was named Discovery’s CEO, global direct-to-consumer, in August. At Amazon, Faricy oversaw the growth of the Amazon Marketplace, the company’s third-party seller business, and previously led the e-tailer's music and movies categories.

“Having worked closely with Avi at Amazon, I know his track record for creating best-in-business technology systems,” Faricy said Wednesday in a statement. Discovery is getting deeper into escalating streaming wars against Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, just as new services are in the works from NBCUniversal, Disney and WarnerMedia.

Added Faricy: “Discovery is embarking on so many exciting initiatives — from food and home to cars, golf and live sports. We look forward to opening these opportunities to the incredible pool of talent in Seattle as we add to Discovery’s existing global tech team."

Before joining Amazon Marketplace, Saxena worked at Microsoft and a host of internet startups.