Susanna Dinnage, appointed global president of Discovery’s Animal Planet in November of last year, is leaving to join the English Premier League football division as its chief executive.
Dinnage will replace outgoing executive chairman Richard Scudamore, who announced his departure in June. Dinnage is expected to take up the post in January.
Dinnage joined Discovery in 2009. Prior to her November 2017 appointment to lead Animal Planet, she served as president of UK/Ireland and chief content officer for Discovery Networks International, and previous to that, held several leadership roles, including as general manager of the UK and Benelux businesses.
According to Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea FC and the Premier League’s nominations committee, “We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption. She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people.”
“I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role. The Premier League means so much to so many people,” Dinnage said in a statement. “It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege. With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”
“Susanna has been a terrific leader for Discovery over the last 10 years,” said Discovery Networks International president and CEO JB Perrette in a statement. “She has a strong understanding of brands and running diverse media businesses both in the UK and more recently with Animal Planet globally. She has been a fantastic teammate for all of us at Discovery and we are delighted that she has been given this unique and ground-breaking opportunity to lead one of the world’s pre-eminent sports organizations.”
Animal Planet was the first of Discovery’s network brands to be led by a global president. A replacement for Dinnage – either an interim one or permanent – has not yet been named.