Phillip Luff (pictured) is leaving his role as Discovery Networks Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa’s (CEEMEA) country manager for emerging business to become the country manager for Northeast Europe.
Based in Moscow, he will head up business development in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the Baltic states and Central Asia, and replace Egor Borisov, who has decided to leave Discovery when his contract expires this month. Luff previously held the position between December 2010 and June 2011.
“Phillip has a great deal of knowledge about the market and the experience needed to help build on the success we have had over the past 12 months,” said Kasia Kieli, Discovery Networks CEEMA’s president and MD, in a statement, “which has included the opening of an office in Ukraine; launch of TLC in Russia and Ukraine; and we have significantly increased distribution of our channels through standard and non-standard platform deals, including mobile and VoD deals.”
James Gibbons, the head of Discovery’s Japanese operations for the past five years, will move to the London to replace Luff as the country manager for emerging business. He will oversee day-to-day management of emerging business in Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and the Mediterranean, as well as the company’s newly-opened office in Istanbul. His portfolio includes channel brands TLC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.
“He has been instrumental in driving our business in Japan,” said Kieli of Gibbons. “This, combined with his many years of knowledge and experience of working within the Discovery family, means that he is well-placed to springboard our business in markets where we believe there is potential for greater growth.”
Gibbons added that his expansion strategy in Africa will take the form of “broader distribution with a view to creating greater local relevance for our valued viewers and partners.”