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Turner Boots Up Digital Innovation Division for International Markets

Aksel van der Wal to helm digital ventures unit

Global media giant Turner has launched a division to lead its digital innovation internationally, with Aksel van der Wal at the helm.

Van der Wal, senior VP and chief financial officer, is promoted to the role of executive VP, digital ventures and innovation, for Turner’s international operations, effective Jan. 1.

“Under his leadership the new division will focus on driving profitable growth through international consumer-centric initiatives, including all of Turner’s international multi-platform suite of digital properties and its direct-to-consumer product strategy,” Turner said in a statement. “He remains responsible for the company’s international technology and operations organization.”

Working closely with the Turner Intl. presidents, van der Wal “has the responsibility for the existing portfolio of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT, and he will also be charged with developing new digital direct-to-consumer businesses, leading a cross-platform business intelligence function that drives consumer insight; managing the internal [technology and operations] infrastructure; and helping to implement the strategy of the non-linear ad sales business.”

“Additionally, he will identify new opportunities for Turner and decide on how to engage in those new areas, through technological product innovation and/or acquisitions.”

“As our industry undergoes huge evolution, the impact of digital disruption and changing consumer behavior continues to put audience insight right at the heart of our business strategy,” said Gerhard Zeiler, president, Turner Intl., to whom Van der Wal will report.

“This new division will ensure that we assess new opportunities for innovation, development and acquisition through the lens of relevant, robust consumer data, and through a realigned, agile organizational structure.”

Trey Turner, now serving as senior VP, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, will replace Van der Wal as CFO for Turner Intl.

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