People/Biz

Discovery names CFO, gives Silberwasser Velocity

Discovery Communications has undertaken a high-level restructuring, bringing in Andrew Warren to be its new CFO and putting Discovery Networks International exec VP and chief content officer Luis Silberwasser in charge of U.S. network Velocity.
January 10, 2012

Discovery Communications has undertaken a high-level restructuring, bringing in Andrew Warren to be its new CFO and putting Discovery Networks International (DNI) exec VP and chief content officer Luis Silberwasser in charge of U.S. network Velocity.

Warren will join Discovery as senior exec VP and CFO on March 26 from fashion company Liz Claiborne Inc, where he has been chief financial officer since 2007, responsible for all financial, accounting, audit, treasury, tax and investor relations activities.

Prior to joining that company, he spent 18 years at General Electric, where he held a number of positions including senior operations leader for the GE Audit Staff, and executive VP and CFO of the NBC Universal Television Group.

Warren succeeds Brad Singer, who previously announced he would be leaving Discovery at the end of March, and will be based at Discovery’s HQ in Silver Spring.

In addition to his CFO responsibilities, Warren also will oversee Discovery’s Media Technology, Production & Operations division, and will represent the company in its three U.S. joint ventures¬†– 3net, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and The Hub. CSS Studios, Discovery’s post-production sound services company, will also report to him.

The restructuring comes after Discovery Communications’ then-chief operating officer Peter Liguori’s departure was announced in November. Among the other notable changes taking place:

- Silberwasser adds male-skewing U.S. net Velocity to his existing responsibilities, which currently include leading DNI’s production and development unit and overseeing the international rollout of TLC. Bob Scanlon, senior VP of Velocity, now reports to Silberwasser.

- JB Perrette, chief digital officer, adds oversight of Discovery’s Enterprise Operational Services department to his role as leader of the company’s digital strategy, including Discovery’s U.S. websites, interactive technology and digital operations and programming, as well as the company’s digital distribution efforts with affiliates such as Apple, Netflix and Amazon.

The new structure aligns Discovery’s digital assets, social media platforms and information technology services in a single organization to focus on opportunities presented by emerging technologies, the company said.

- Bruce Campbell, chief development officer and general counsel, adds business affairs and global production management to his portfolio, with Lee Bartlett, executive VP of global production management and business affairs, now reporting to him.

- David Leavy has been promoted to the position of chief communications officer and senior exec VP of corporate marketing and affairs, reporting to president and CEO David Zaslav.

In a statement, Zaslav said of Warren: “Having worked extensively with Andy at NBC Universal, I know firsthand what an effective and strategic leader he is, how knowledgeable and passionate he is about the media business, and what a great addition he will be to our already strong senior management team.”

In related news, Discovery today announced it was opening its first office in Sofia, Bulgaria. The office is the ninth to be launched by Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) in the region, and part of an ongoing expansion plan which now includes local offices in Warsaw, Moscow, Kiev, Budapest and London.

The office in Bulgaria will be led by Victoria Davies, distribution sales manager for South East Europe, who reports to Vlad Tudosie, country manager for Discovery Networks South East Europe. Davies is joined by two Bulgarian sales and distribution execs, Alexander Georgiev and Ekaterina Dobreva.

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