ViacomCBS Networks Int'l Reorganizes Into Two Brand, Three Regional Groups

David Lynn, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International

The restructuring of the unit, led by David Lynn, is designed "to drive new growth opportunities," with Mark Whitehead, president and managing director of Asia Pacific, leaving the company at the end of January.

ViacomCBS has rejigged the management restructure of its international networks division "to leverage the company’s expanded operations post-merger to drive new growth opportunities across brands in key international markets."

The reorganization, focused on two brand groups and three pan-regional teams, is designed to simplify ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) into two brand groups and three pan-regional management hubs, which report to David Lynn, the president and CEO of the unit.

The two brand groups will be led by Kerry Taylor, currently executive vp MTV International and chief marketing officer for VCNI U.K., who has been promoted to executive vp VCNI Entertainment & Youth Brands, and Jules Borkent, who has been promoted to the post of executive vp, VCNI Kids & Family.

Reporting to Lynn and Chris McCarthy, president of Entertainment & Youth Brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, Taylor’s new remit will include international oversight of MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network and BET. Jill Offman, who previously led Comedy Central and Paramount Network internationally, will now focus on the international studio business as executive vp ViacomCBS International Studios U.K.

Borkent will report to Lynn and Brian Robbins, president, Kids & Family Entertainment, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. Borkent has been with Nickelodeon since 2001, having led channel operations and content strategy, including programming, acquisitions, originals and digital for Nickelodeon International.

“Kerry and Jules are exceptional creative and strategic professionals," Lynn said. "Kerry brings equal parts marketing acumen and a genuine connection to the global youth zeitgeist which has driven MTV’s successful international franchise strategy and ratings success. Jules is a respected industry voice, who’s dedicated to bringing unique and diverse content to Nickelodeon audiences around the world.”

He added: “Consolidating our international flagship brands into two groups will simplify our structure and more closely align our business with ViacomCBS’ U.S. brands, enabling us to share more content and resources across our different brands and extract maximum value from our content investment and libraries.”

VCNI has also promoted three top executives to oversee the three groups that will be part of its new pan-regional organization.

Maria Kyriacou, who most recently was president of international for ITV Studios, will join the company as planned Feb. 3 and take on a new role as president, ViacomCBS Networks U.K. & Australia, which includes responsibility for Ireland, New Zealand and Israel. "With focused oversight of ViacomCBS’s operations in its two most valuable international markets, including its free-to-air broadcast networks, Channel 5 and Network 10, Kyriacou will seek content and commercial synergies between the company’s portfolio of networks and streaming services across these English-language markets," the company said.

In connection with that, Paul Anderson, who is CEO of Network 10 in Australia, additionally becomes executive vp ViacomCBS Networks Australia and New Zealand, reporting to Kyriacou.

Raffaele Annecchino, currently president of the company's operations across Southern and Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will take on an expanded role and oversee the second region with additional responsibility for the company’s operations in Northern and Eastern Europe and key Asian markets as president, ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia (EMEAA).

Mark Whitehead, president and managing director of VCNI Asia Pacific, will be leaving the company at the end of January.

"Annecchino will aim to deliver additional growth in European markets through the closer alignment of its operations across the continent," the company said. "With a track record of driving market-beating growth from both on-screen and off-screen activities in the markets for which he currently has responsibility, Annecchino will focus on developing scale in the company’s operations in EMEAA in addition to continuing to be responsible for VCNI’s mobile strategy."

JC Acosta will be the third pan-regional leader, having recently been promoted to president, ViacomCBS Networks Americas, where he is responsible for the company’s operations across Latin America, as well as in Canada and the U.S. Hispanic market. 

Said Lynn: “ViacomCBS is truly a global leader in terms of the quality, volume and range of content we produce and own and we aim to exploit the incredible pipelines at our disposal to deliver exceptional growth across international markets, not just for ourselves but for our partners as well." He added: "We have an exceptional leadership team in place and a simplified structure that allows us to be more tightly focused on seeking out the most attractive opportunities to license our brands, content and IP in the highest value and fastest growing international markets, with a particular focus on accelerating our streaming strategy.”