Viacom announces leadership changes
November 21, 2019
Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has announced that Pierluigi Gazzolo, President of VIMN Americas and Executive Vice President of Nickelodeon International, has been appointed President of OTT International and Viacom International Studios (VIS), signaling the increasing importance of VIMN’s OTT and Studio businesses. Gazzolo will report to David Lynn, President & CEO of VIMN.
In this role, Gazzolo will initially focus on accelerating the rollout of Pluto TV across international markets, starting with a major launch across Latin America in early 2020. In addition, Gazzolo will further establish VIMN’s premium D2C products in partnership with distributors. He will also be responsible for creating an integrated Viacom International Studios operation, managing original content creation assets across ViacomCBS internationally. This new structure will enable the company to accelerate the creation of original content across international markets, consistent with the ViacomCBS mission of becoming one of the world’s preeminent content companies.
Gazzolo will be responsible for establishing Viacom’s international business strategies, product offerings and operations for these critical growth areas of the business in all international markets. He will work closely with Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer for ViacomCBS and President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Interactive and Tom Ryan, CEO and Co-Founder of Pluto TV to expand the company’s digital strategy to the international market.
As President of VIMN Americas, Gazzolo is credited for driving the growth of VIMN’s business in the region and was responsible for the expansion of the business through the acquisition of Telefe and Porta dos Fundos. During his tenure, Gazzolo led the transformation of VIMN Americas, including establishing its non-linear presence through innovative multiplatform products and services such as Paramount + and Noggin and working with the Pluto TV team to launch 11 Pluto Latino channels to the US Hispanic market earlier this year – which has since grown to 22 channels and 4,000 hours of Spanish and Portuguese content.
Under Gazzolo’ s leadership, Viacom International Studios (VIS) was launched following the 2016 acquisitions of Telefe and then Porta dos Fundos.
David Lynn commented: “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. 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.”
Gazzolo added: “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.”
Juan (JC) Acosta, currently Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer of VIMN Americas, will be promoted to President of VIMN Americas, effective January 3rd 2020. Acosta will report to David Lynn, President & CEO of VIMN.
Lynn commented: “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. 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.”
Acosta commented: “I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role. It’s been my privilege to partner with Pier during such a transformational period for our business. The VIMN Americas team is expert in driving value through its ability to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape through innovation, content entrepreneurship, and passion. I look forward to continuing to work with them and our partners as we create and distribute winning content, products and experiences for the region.”
In his new role, Acosta will be responsible for VIMN operations for Latin America, spanning Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, as well as Canada and the US Hispanic market. He will be tasked with the ongoing expansion of VIMN’s portfolio and products in the region, including its multiplatform 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).
As Chief Operating Officer of the Americas cluster since 2015, Acosta has been responsible for the region’s brand portfolio and monetization across all platforms and lines of business throughout Latin America, US Hispanic and Canada. As well as overseeing strategic service areas such as Finance, Strategy & Operations, Production/Studios, Research and Emerging Business.
Acosta has been with VIMN for 13 years, having first joined the company in 2007 as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of VIMN Americas. Since that time, Acosta has served in a variety of roles leading to his current role as EVP Chief Financial Officer & Executive in Charge of Production. Acosta has worked across a range of areas of the VIMN Americas business and was a key partner to Gazzolo, as COO of the America business as they designed and implemented the integration of Telefe and Porta dos Fundos.