Discovery Names Kasia Kieli Head of Europe, Middle East, Africa

Kasia Kieli - H 2017
Courtesy of Discovery Communications

In a reorganization of its international business, the company also tapped a new U.K. head.

Discovery Communications has promoted Kasia Kieli to the role of president & managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

In the newly created position, she will oversee the company's business in the region, which had previously been split up into several sub-regions. She will report to Discovery Networks International president and CEO JB Perrette

Kieli was most recently president and managing director for Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa (CEEMEA). The 17-year Discovery veteran in that role "transformed [the business] from a basic channel distribution operation into a thriving, locally relevant organization it is today, offering pay TV, free to air and digital products on two continents," the company said Thursday in a statement.

"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," said Perrette. "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.”

Said Kieli: "I joined Discovery in 2000 because I loved the brand, believed in its values and saw the opportunities it was creating. 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.” 

Discovery also made a couple of other executive changes as part of the reorganization. Among others, it named James Gibbons general manager U.K./Ireland, Australia & New Zealand and head of commercial development EMEA. He succeeds Susanna Dinnage, who was promoted earlier this month to the new position of global president, Animal Planet.

The U.K. market is a major hub for Discovery. Gibbons has been with Discovery for more than 18 years, working in management roles across the globe. Most recently, he served as general manager for emerging business and head of product & business development for the CEEMEA region.

In addition, Marinella Soldi will take on the expanded role as chief strategy officer EMEA and managing director Southern Europe, reporting to Kieli. "In addition, Soldi will create and lead a new Consumer Insights & Product Development function and the content organization for EMEA and Discovery Networks International," the company said. "This expanded role will ensure that her innovative spirit, strategic thinking, creative leadership and business acumen is leveraged across the wider organization."