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SkyShowtime appoints former HBO, Disney execs

July 27, 2022

SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan has announced that former HBO Max executive Roberto Soto has been appointed as Chief Strategy Officer and John Heinemann, formerly with The Walt Disney Company, has been named General Counsel of SkyShowtime.

They both will join the company later this year.

Soto served as Senior Vice President and Head of Growth Marketing for EMEA. at HBO Max  There, he led the marketing, PR, subscriber acquisition, CRM, and growth analytics teams and spearheaded HBO Max’s successful roll-out across all of SkyShowtime’s future markets including Iberia, the Nordics, Netherlands, Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe. In this newly created role, Soto will lead the development and execution of SkyShowtime’s strategy, working closely with all teams across the organisation. Based in Amsterdam, he will report directly to Sarhan.

Prior to joining HBO Max, Soto held senior roles leading growth marketing, product, business development, strategy and distribution at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), Fox International Channels, and Liberty Global. He also worked at streaming start-ups MUBI and Tribes Media and has worked across distinct global markets from Latin America, United States and Europe, to Africa and the Middle East.

Sarhan commented: “Roberto’s diverse experience across entertainment and sports streaming services, including multiple launches throughout Europe, make him uniquely positioned to help define our company’s strategy and drive its execution across the organisation. He will be instrumental in making SkyShowtime the next great streaming service for Europe.”

Soto added: “I am thrilled to join SkyShowtime and can’t wait to work together with Monty and his team to build a unique and premium entertainment brand offering – a combination of iconic, high-quality content from the portfolios of the world’s leading studios, and an intuitive viewing experience that audiences in Europe will love.”

Heinemann, a five-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, was most recently Associate Principal Counsel for Nordics, Baltics and MENA. During his tenure at Disney, Heinemann was part of the team that launched Disney+ internationally, negotiating multiyear agreements across Europe and MENA.

Reporting to Sarhan, Heinemann will serve as the chief legal officer of the company, acting as a strategic advisor to the leadership team and the Board of Directors while overseeing the entire legal function including commercial and transactional matters, compliance, regulatory matters, privacy and data protection, content licensing, and distribution. He will be tasked with building a Business & Legal affairs team across SkyShowtime territories. Prior to Disney, he worked at Fox Network Groups, BBC Studios and Viasat Broadcasting.

Sarhan stated: “In addition to his formidable legal skills, John also brings business acumen and a strategic mindset. He knows our markets and he understands what is required to launch a successful streaming service. I know he will be a trusted advisor to the entire leadership team. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Heinemann said: “It’s a thrilling time for streaming services, and with SkyShowtime’s exceptional content offering, it is poised to become a major player across Europe. I can’t wait to start supporting Monty and his team in the SkyShowtime adventure.

SkyShowtime will launch across 22 European markets beginning later this year.

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