ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has announced that following the departure of VCNI veteran Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of VCN Africa and BET International at the end of February 2020, Craig Paterson and Monde Twala will be named as co-General Managers of ViacomCBS Networks Africa.
“Alex has made an immeasurable impact on our business in Africa,” said Raffaele Annecchino, President of ViacomCBS Networks Europe Middle East, Africa and Asia. “Since launching MTV Base in 2005, Alex has spearheaded the development of our business on the continent, which now delivers more channels to Africa than any other international network – reaching 100 million viewers in 48 territories across MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and BET.”
Okosi took over leadership of BET International in 2017 and has continued to advance the value of the brand internationally delivering double-digit distribution growth and improving profitability and margins. Under Okosi’s leadership, BET International elevated its presence at the BET Awards by incorporating the “Best International Act” award into the live broadcast, which simulcasted live in Africa for the first time. In addition, BET International expanded its presence during the BET “Hip Hop Awards” by launching a new category to honor artists from around the world.
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to build our Africa business from the ground up,” said Okosi. “This has played a pivotal role in transforming the music and content space and changing the narrative on Africa. Leading our Africa and BET International businesses to success is testament to the extraordinary teams, colleagues and partners that I have worked with throughout my tenure. ViacomCBS has been my home for more than 20 fantastic years, and I leave behind incredible creative and commercial talent that will continue to deliver growth.”
David Lynn, President & CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International added: “I’m immensely grateful to Alex for his contribution to the success of VCNI, including his role in developing such a strong team of successors. Alex’s leadership has been essential to our success in Africa and to the continued growth of BET International.”
VCN Africa Leadership Team:
Effective March 1st, Monde Twala and Craig Paterson will assume their new roles as General Managers of VCN Africa.
As co-head of the business, Twala, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Editorial VCN Africa, will focus on content, creative, editorial and marketing for VCNI brands. Twala is currently the Vice President of ViacomCBS Networks Africa’s BET, Youth & Music, ViacomCBS Networks International and Africa. Twala is responsible for driving the development and growth of iconic music, youth and entertainment brands BET, MTV, MTV Base and MTV Music24, across the African continent. Monde joined the company in 2016 after nearly 20 years’ experience in the South African broadcasting and media industry.
Paterson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, VCN Africa, will be responsible for all corporate functions, including business development and strategy. Currently Senior Vice President, Business Operations for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, Paterson is responsible for driving strategic growth and business opportunities in Africa. Prior to this role, Paterson was responsible for Operations and Finance for multimedia brands MTV, MTV Music24, Nickelodeon, Nick Toons, Nick Junior, MTV Base, BET and Comedy Central on the African continent. He spent nearly five years at Viacom beginning in 2011 as VP of Operations and Finance in Africa and returned to the company in 2018 as Senior Vice President of Business Operations in Africa.
“I am delighted that Craig and Monde will take over leadership in this important market,” said Annecchino. “Both have worked with Alex for years, which coupled with their expertise will ensure a seamless transition. Craig and Monde are experts in their respective areas and in addition to incredible business acumen, have demonstrated leadership and collaborative excellence throughout each of their careers and tenures with the company.”