December 10, 2020
NEW YORK – ViacomCBS, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced that Raffaele Annecchino has been appointed President and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), effective immediately. He succeeds David Lynn, who is stepping down and will depart the company following a transition period.
In his new role, Annecchino will oversee all of ViacomCBS's media networks and related businesses outside the U.S. As part of this, he will be responsible for a portfolio of pay-TV entertainment brands and broadcast networks across six continents – including Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe in Argentina, Network 10 in Australia and Colors in India through a joint venture with Viacom18 – and work closely with ViacomCBS's global streaming organization to help guide the continued international rollout of Pluto TV and the launch of Paramount+ in 2021. He will report to Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS.
Over the course of his 23-year tenure, Annecchino has held a number of positions across ViacomCBS Networks International, formerly Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN). Most recently, he served as President of ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia (EMEAA), during which time he oversaw operations across a range of markets and led and coordinated VCNI's mobile strategy globally.
Among his achievements were the launch and acquisition of free-to-air channels in the key markets of Italy, Spain and Germany, and the creation of a new business unit in September 2020 to help drive ViacomCBS's digital businesses across the EMEAA region, including capturing opportunities across free and pay streaming, advanced advertising and ViacomCBS Digital Studios International. Annecchino also led the expansion of Pluto TV in Europe with the recent successful launch of the service in Spain and the upcoming roll out in France and Italy in 2021.
Prior to joining MTV Networks International in 1997, Annecchino held positions at Turner International, Cartoon Network and CNN. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from the European Business School, London, UK, and an Executive MBA from the Instituto de Empresa International, Madrid, Spain. He completed the CTAM U Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2016 and the CTAM Europe Executive Management Program at INSEAD in 2017.
As President and CEO of VCNI and, before that, VIMN, Lynn was responsible for numerous strategic growth initiatives to diversify the company's international business, which led to a significant increase in the company's digital advertising and subscription revenues, among other achievements. As part of this, Lynn oversaw the launch of Viacom International Studios and the international rollout of Pluto TV and Noggin.
Previously, he served as President of VIMN UK, Northern and Eastern Europe, where he oversaw Viacom's global distribution strategy and led the acquisition of Channel 5 Broadcasting and its integration into Viacom. Before that, he was SVP, Managing Director, for Nickelodeon UK, where he strengthened its position in one of the UK's most competitive viewing demographics, launching Nick Jr. and kick-starting its digital strategy.
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