Discovery Networks International CEO Mark Hollinger to Step Down Next Year

UPDATED: The cable networks group's international boss will leave his post when his current contract expires in June 2014.

LONDON – Discovery Communications said Wednesday that Discovery Networks International president and CEO Mark Hollinger has announced his resignation, effective in June.

Hollinger, who reports to Discovery Communications president and CEO CEO David Zaslav, has driven the company's growth outside the U.S. via network launches and acquisitions as the international business has become increasingly important for Discovery.

Hollinger is responsible for the operations of the international division that distributes 42 brands in 45 languages to more than 1.6 billion cumulative subscribers in 224 countries and territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

“I informed David Zaslav last week of my intention to step down when my contract is up next June," Hollinger said. "Having spent 150 or so days away from home during each of the last several years, most often many time zones away, I am looking forward to being back in the U.S. full-time and spending more time with my family."

Said Zaslav, "Mark is a consummate professional and amazing leader who has made a huge impact on all of us at Discovery Communications over the 23 years he has been at the company, and I am so grateful for his contributions, leadership and unwavering integrity."

Discovery’s board will begin a search for Hollinger’s successor immediately.

Hollinger joined Discovery in 1991 as vp and deputy general counsel before serving in various leadership roles across the company, including COO and president of global businesses & operations.

Last year, Discovery struck two big European deals worth $2 billion. It acquired German TV giant ProSiebenSat.1's Scandinavian business SBS Nordic and took a stake in Pan-European sports channel Eurosport in a deal with France's TF1.

Twitter: @georgszalai