Pierluigi Gazzolo to Leave ViacomCBS Networks International
ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC), has today confirmed the departure of one of its longest serving executives, Pierluigi Gazzolo, who will step down from his role as President, Streaming and Studios for VCNI at the end of this month to focus on other interests.
During Gazzolo’s tenure as President of Streaming and Studios for VCNI, he successfully established the content proposition, team and go to market strategy for the international launch of Paramount+ and expanded the roadmap for Pluto TV internationally.
VCNI Streaming Leadership
Reporting to David Lynn, President and CEO of VCNI, and working closely with Tom Ryan, President & CEO of ViacomCBS Streaming, Kelly Day, Chief Operating Officer of VCNI, will take over leadership of the division’s streaming business as President of Streaming and COO of VCNI. In this new role, Day will have oversight of the international roll-out of Paramount+, a new premium SVOD service due to launch in 2021 across Australia, Latin America, and the Nordics; as well as the ongoing expansion of Pluto TV, following its successful launch in Latin America.
Regarding Day’s expanded remit, Lynn added, “We are in the fortunate position of going from strength to strength with this transition. With a truly global streaming organization, it’s a pivotal moment in the evolution of our streaming strategy, with the expansion of Paramount+ and Pluto TV, both of which are critical to our future growth. Kelly has an enviable track record of launching and growing streaming businesses and has added a layer of extraordinary digital expertise to our management team in a short space of time. Now, also, working closely with Tom Ryan, I’m confident Kelly will accelerate our transition to becoming a more digitally-led business, while seizing our global streaming opportunity.”
ViacomCBS International Studios Leadership
ViacomCBS Studios International (VIS) will supply original content to the new Paramount+ service in some markets, while continuing to supply scripted, comedy and reality series to VCNI’s free and pay TV networks as well as third party streamers and broadcasters.
Also, reporting to Lynn, JC Acosta, who oversees VCNI’s operations in Latin America and Canada as President, VCN Americas, will take on additional responsibility as President, ViacomCBS International Studios.
Lynn added, “One of our biggest achievements in recent years has been the formation and expansion of VIS, which really couldn’t have happened without Pier’s vision. In the past year, under Pier’s leadership he doubled the global development slate, setting VCNI up for continued global success in the studios arena.”
“Now with JC’s expertise in production and development, coupled with his drive and dedication its incredibly reassuring that JC will take over leadership of VIS,” said Lynn. “Given JC’s intimate understanding of our Studios business, his connections and his knowledge of the international content market, we couldn’t be better positioned for continued growth.”
Paying tribute to Gazzolo, Lynn said, “While he will hate to be labelled as a veteran, there’s no better word to describe someone who has dedicated so much of his career to our company and who has benefited it so much with his wisdom and experience. He’s a brilliant all-rounder who has played in many positions for our team, but always with the same outstanding results. It’s typical of Pier’s commitment that he’s stayed to oversee a seamless handover to Kelly and JC, even though he’s been signaling his interest in pursuing his own projects for some time. I can’t thank him enough for his contribution to our business over many years. I know everyone at VCNI will join me in genuinely wishing him well in his future endeavors.”
Gazzolo commented, “I’ve grown up with this amazing company. From MTV Latino, to MTV Networks to Viacom International Media Networks to post merger ViacomCBS Networks International. I’ve been honored to grow and evolve with ViacomCBS, and I’m immensely grateful to have worked across so many regions and divisions at the most dynamic media company in the world. I have benefited tremendously from having worked with unparalleled leaders and mentors, throughout my tenure, but especially in the latest chapter of my term. Most importantly I’ve created wonderful close friendships in my 27 years with the company – and those will continue long after I leave the building.”
About Pierluigi Gazzolo
Prior to taking up his current role as President, Streaming and Studios in November 2019, Pierluigi Gazzolo was President, Americas for Viacom International Media Networks, which was renamed as VCNI after the ViacomCBS merger in December last year.
Based in Miami, he oversaw a marked expansion of the company’s operations across Spanish-speaking Latin America and Brazil, spearheaded by two key acquisitions – ownership of Argentina’s leading free-to-air broadcaster, Telefe (2016), and a majority stake in Brazilian comedy producer, Porta dos Fundos (2017). Combining Telefe’s studios business and Porta dos Fundos with VIMN’s existing production activities in the region, Gazzolo formed VIS and secured its first sales to both Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as a host of other deals with broadcasters and streamers across the region. Under his leadership, VIS has expanded its production activities in the UK, Europe, and Asia.
At the same time as leading the company’s operations in Latin America, Gazzolo continued to lead Nickelodeon internationally, giving him oversight of this critical brand in all markets outside the U.S. In this role, he oversaw an increase in international supply to Nickelodeon’s global content pipeline with locally developed shows being remade for global distribution, including Talia in the Kitchen and Every Witch Way.
Previously, Gazzolo was Chief Operating Officer for VIMN (2011 to 2014) and its predecessor MTV Networks International (2009 to 2011), reporting in both roles to Bob Bakish, who is now CEO, ViacomCBS Inc. Before 2009, he held several different roles with the company including serving as President of MTV Networks Latin America.
ViacomCBS Networks International:
ViacomCBS Networks International, a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC), comprises many of the world’s most iconic entertainment brands, including Network 10, Channel 5, Telefe, Viacom 18, ViacomCBS International Studios, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount Network and Pluto TV. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS Networks International provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents and across more than 180 countries.
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Senior Vice President, Communications, ViacomCBS Networks International
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