Fox Intl. Channels topper Hernan Lopez has tapped company vet Ward Platt to  serve as his Los Angeles-based No. 2 in the fast-growing division.

Platt, formerly FIC’s prexy of Asia Pacific and the Middle East, will serve as chief operating officer of FIC and CEO of its National Geographic Channels Intl. unit. He’ll relocate from Hong Kong to L.A. to help Lopez oversee the continued expansion of the unit that now houses more than 300 channels across Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Platt “has built our business in Asia from the ground up, turning it into a model in the region,” Lopez said. “I am delighted to have him step up to this new and expanded role.”

As CEO of Nat Geo Intl., Platt will oversee operations for all of its 170-plus channels and program services outside of the U.S.

Platt has been with Fox since 1999. He most recently spearheaded the launch of Fox Sports Japan, a major initiative for News Corp.

Platt’s former role will be filled by Zubin Gandevia, who has been upped from COO to prexy of Fox Intl. Channels Asia.