Perrette — who will oversee all aspects of Discovery’s businesses in 220 countries — takes over for 23-year Discovery veteran Mark Hollinger, who announced his resignation as president of Discovery Networks International in September. Sean Atkins, senior VP of digital media, will serve as the acting head of Discovery’s digital business as the company performs an internal and external search for its next chief digital officer.
Discovery topper David Zaslav, in announcing the appointment, praised Perrette as “one of the smartest and most versatile executives I have worked with in the media business.”
“Having spent half his career internationally, and with a unique mix of distribution, digital, strategy and business development experience, JB is the perfect fit to lead Discovery’s international operations,” Zaslav said.
Perrette joined Discovery in October 2011, after 11 years at NBCUniversal where he most recently had been president of digital and affiliate distribution. Before joining NBC in 2000, Perrette was a member of General Electric’s leadership development program based in London and worked for CS First Boston in London and Tokyo.
At Discovery, Perrette and his team led the acquisitions of Revision3 and DeFranco Creative, headed by top YouTube personality Phil DeFranco. Perrette also oversaw strategic investments in Lumosity and Learnist, the launch of online networks Animalist and TestTube, and live online events such as Skywire Live and Animal Planet L!ve.
In a statement about his new role, Perrette said, “Discovery’s regional leaders are simply the best global operating team in all of media. Through strong organic growth as well as selective strategic acquisitions and partnerships, Mark and the team have built Discovery Networks International’s unrivaled footprint with powerful brands that are valued by viewers, advertisers and distribution partners around the world. I look forward to working closely with the world-class DNI team and fantastic collaborators as we capitalize on that momentum and chart the next phase of growth for Discovery.”