Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has appointed Pierluigi Gazzolo to the role of president of OTT International and Viacom International Studios (VIS).
Gazzolo (pictured), who was previously president of VIMN Americas and EVP of Nickelodeon International, will report to David Lynn, president and CEO of VIMN, as he leads the company’s OTT and Studio businesses.
In his new role, he will initially focus on accelerating the rollout of Pluto TV across international markets, starting with a major launch across Latin America in early 2020. Additionally, he will further establish VIMN’s premium D2C products in partnership with distributors and be responsible for creating an integrated VIS operation, managing original content creation assets across the newly-formed ViacomCBS internationally.
Gazzolo will work closely with Marc DeBevoise, chief digital officer for ViacomCBS and president and CEO of CBS Interactive, and Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, to expand the company’s digital strategy to the international market.
“Pier is a uniquely dynamic executive and has an unrivalled track record of growing revenues for the entire VIMN ecosystem. Pier’s vision and leadership in acquiring and integrating both Telefe and Porta dos Fundos for the Americas business was a step-change for Viacom in the region and enabled the creation of a studio business, not just for the Americas, but for all of Viacom International,” said Lynn, in a statement.
“Additionally, Pier’s leadership in the streaming and OTT space has driven subscriber growth and established VIMN as a key player in OTT in the region partnering with MVPD’s and mobile operators. I’m confident that Pier will apply the same vision and rigor to launching these key business lines for ViacomCBS internationally as we continue to super serve our distribution partners.”
“With ViacomCBS’ position as one the world’s most important content creators and distributors, it’s an extraordinary moment to help drive the expansion of both Pluto TV and OTT internationally, which is the fastest growing part of the video business; and at the same time, create a unified international studio for Viacom – when the demand for content has never been greater,” added Gazzolo.
Meanwhile, Juan “JC” Acosta has been tapped to replace Gazzolo as president of VIMN Americas.
Acosta, who currently serves as EVP and COO of VIMN Americas, will assume the role on Jan. 3 and also report to Lynn.
He will be responsible for VIMN operations for Latin America, spanning Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, as well as Canada and the US Hispanic market. His remit will include overseeing the ongoing expansion of VIMN’s portfolio and products in the region, including its multi-platform business, global studio and content distribution and licensing efforts and TV channels (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Channel, and Telefe, Argentina’s leading free-to-air broadcaster) and digital portfolio (including Porta Dos Fundos).
“JC’s understanding of the entertainment industry, strategic expertise and deep knowledge of both VIMN and the international television market make him ideally suited for his new role. JC’s tenure with VIMN and impact on the business to date, will ensure both a seamless leadership transition and a continued growth trajectory for our Americas operations,” said Lynn.
“JC played a key role in the transformation of the VIMN Americas business, integrating and managing Telefe and Porta dos Fundos, and is ideally equipped to take VIMN Americas through its next stage of growth.”