ViacomCBS appoints Jaime Ondarza as GM Middle East

Published: 24 June 2020 - 2:11 p.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) has appointed Jaime Ondarza as executive VP and general manager of a newly created regional structure, which includes France, Iberia, Italy, the Middle East, Greece and Turkey.

Ondarza will report to Raffaele Annecchino, president, ViacomCBS Networks Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

In this new role, Ondarza is charged with aligning operations, maximising strategic synergies and identifying new commercial opportunities.

Annecchino said: “I am thrilled to welcome Jaime to the company. Jaime brings a wealth of editorial and commercial expertise in addition to a strong track record in managing multiple complex markets in the media and entertainment industry. This is a key moment for us as we accelerate our digital transformation, expand our footprint and partnerships while continuing to deliver great content on all platforms. I’m certain that Jaime will play an integral role in this important phase and effectively position the organisation in this important region for long term growth.”

Ondarza added: “It’s a privilege to join ViacomCBS Networks International, a global company with an incredible portfolio of assets. I look forward to leveraging the power of our brands to capture new opportunities and strengthen the important partnerships we have in these vibrant markets.”

Ondarza joins ViacomCBS Networks EMEAA with over 22 years of international experience in the media and entertainment industry.

Prior to his appointment, Ondarza covered long running executive roles in Warner Media, where he successfully launched and developed new business and brands, and in Boing, the JV between Mediaset and Warner Media.

In addition to founding the first FTA commercial kids channel worldwide on the DTT, Ondarza launched the Boing App, which was Warner Media’s first AVOD streaming service designed for kids and families.

Within this new structure, Ondarza will be supported in the daily operations of the Middle East business by Tracey Grant, VP of Content & Channels Middle East, who will assume the role of Market Lead.

Annecchino bid outgoing CEO and GM Andrea Castellari adieu, Castellari reportedly left the company to pursue new endeavors.

“I want to thank Andrea for his relentless and invaluable contribution to the success of these regions. Andrea, who joined the company a few years ago, has played an essential role in growing our business in Italy and expanding our distribution in Turkey and the Middle East. I am truly sorry to say goodbye to such a talented colleague and leader, and I wish him all the best,” Annecchino said.

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