Adam Crozier, CEO of ITV, with Variety associate publisher Donna Pennestri
The award is given to individuals who “exhibit leadership, creativity and innovation,” and who are “transforming the global television marketplace,” said Variety associate publisher Donna Pennestri, who presented Crozier with the honor.
She described Crozier as “one of television’s most respected and forward-thinking leaders. He’s a man who’s led a very talented team to make ITV the global broadcasting and content giant it is today.”
Pennestri added: “In Adam’s five years as CEO he has led ITV through a remarkable transition. In 2010, it was heavily reliant on its broadcasting operations in the U.K., with the majority of the revenue coming from advertising.
“Now, only a few short years later, ITV has emerged as one of the largest content players in the world, with almost 50% of its revenue generated from global production, international distribution, and its pay TV and digital operations. This type of accomplishment is only possible with a great leader at the helm, someone with vision and the ability to guide an operation the size of ITV through the uncertain waters of the media landscape.”
Crozier responded with characteristic self-deprecating humor: “If any of my team were standing up here, they would say that all of the achievements of ITV over the last five years have got absolutely nothing to do with me… and frankly they’d be right, because it’s all down to them. I think the team of people at ITV has done just the most fantastic job over the last five years, and I am delighted to accept this award on their behalf.”
He added: “Everyone here is very privileged to work in the television business at this time. There has never been a more challenging time, there has never been a more interesting time, and there has never been a more exciting time to be in TV. With all the changes that are happening in the industry, the one thing that is absolutely clear is that content is the most important thing — high-quality, fabulous content — and that’s what we are all trying to create at ITV.”
Variety’s exclusive, invite-only reception hosted execs, producers, creatives and partners who have worked with ITV over the years.
Among those attending from the ITV side were Orly Adelson, who heads up ITV Studios America; Maria Kyriacou, managing director at ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Rest of World; and Leslie Greif, CEO of Thinkfactory Media and the showrunner on “Texas Rising.” The miniseries, which premiered at Mip TV on Monday, is produced by A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. ITV acquired a controlling stake in Thinkfactory, which produced Greif’s “Hatfields & McCoys,” in 2013.
Other ITV execs at the Cannes event included Augustus Dulgaro, who oversees ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s operations in Australasia and Asia, and Greg Johnson, who looks after ITV Studios GE’s distribution and co-production business across the U.S., Canada and Latin American markets.
Also attending the cocktail were Pim Schmitz, CEO of Talpa Holding; Shashi Panday, CFO of Talpa; and several other members of their team. ITV recently acquired Talpa, whose shows include “The Voice.”
Schmitz told Variety: “One of the pure strengths (of the ITV team) is their thinking regarding content, and their content strategy, which is exactly the same as it is at Talpa. There is a perfect match. Adam and his team are sympathetic and great people, and it remains a people business, and me and my team clicked immediately with Adam and his team.
“They said you do certain things at Talpa even better than we do, so we want you to take some of that knowledge and we are going to implement it across the ITV group. And that’s got to do with our content strategy and our connect strategy — our all digital strategy — and interactivity, and they expect us to share that knowledge and see how that can work for the whole ITV group.
“And it works the other way round: We hope that we can take advantage of the market position they have and their (production and distribution) network to help us fill in the blank spots we have in our network geographically.”
Other guests at the cocktail included Hanna Stjarne, director general of Sweden’s SVT; Casten Almqvist, CEO of Swedish commercial network TV4; Jane Turton, CEO of All3Media; Martin Moszkowicz, executive board chairman at Constantin Film; Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal Intl. Television Production; Sarah Cooper, COO of of NBCUniversal Intl. Television Production; and Chris Day, head of corporate communications at United Talent Agency.
Left to right: Pim Schmitz, CEO of Talpa Holding; Kim Dingler, Talpa’s marketing and strategy director; Shashi Panday, CFO of Talpa Holding; Geertje Hoek, managing director, Talpa Content; Maarten Meijs, m.d. Talpa Global; Diana Buddingh, director of Talpa’s Global Productions; Maaike van Urk, head of legal and business affairs; and Adam Crozier, CEO of ITV
Crozier with Orly Adelson, who heads up ITV Studios America, and Maria Kyriacou, managing director at ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Rest of World
Crozier with Leslie Greif, CEO of Thinkfactory Media and the showrunner on “Texas Rising.”
Left to right: Francois Florentiny, managing director, ITV Studios France; Lucille Heriard Dubreuil, director of development for ITV Studios France; Adam Crozier, CEO, ITV; Anita Jacoby, m.d. ITV Studios Australia; Hans Engholm, m.d., ITV Studios Nordics; and Mike Beale, exec VP, global development and formats, ITV Studios