Gazzolo, who will report to VIMN president and CEO David Lynn, was most recently president of VIMN Americas and executive vice president of Nickelodeon International.
As the streaming landscape becomes increasingly competitive, the move marks an increased focus on direct-to-consumer. Gazzolo will first focus his attention on the rollout of free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV in international markets, particularly its early 2020 debut in Latin America. Plans are for Gazzolo to further establish VIMN’s premium streaming products in partnership with distributors and create an integrated Viacom International Studios operation that will manage original content creation assets across ViacomCBS globally. He will be tasked with establishing Viacom’s international business strategies, product offerings and operations, and will work closely with CBS Interactive head and ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc Debevoise as well as Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan to expand the company’s digital strategy abroad.
“Pier is a uniquely dynamic executive and has an unrivalled track record of growing revenues for the entire VIMN ecosystem,” said Lynn. “Pier’s vision and leadership in acquiring and integrating both Telefe and Porta dos Fundos for the Americas business was a step-change for Viacom in the region and enabled the creation of a studio business, not just for the Americas, but for all of Viacom International. Additionally, Pier’s leadership in the streaming and OTT space has driven subscriber growth and established VIMN as a key player in OTT in the region partnering with MVPD’s and mobile operators. I’m confident that Pier will apply the same vision and rigor to launching these key business lines for ViacomCBS internationally as we continue to super serve our distribution partners.”
During his time as head of VIMN Americas, Gazzolo oversaw the expansion of its business, acquiring Telefe and Porta dos Fundos, leading to the launch of Viacom International Studios.
“With ViacomCBS’ position as one the world’s most important content creators and distributors, it’s an extraordinary moment to help drive the expansion of both Pluto TV and OTT internationally, which is the fastest growing part of the video business; and at the same time, create a unified international studio for Viacom – when the demand for content has never been greater,” said Gazzolo.
As part of the changes, Juan Acosta will be elevated to president of VIMN Americas as of Jan. 3, also reporting to Lynn. He is currently executive vice president and chief operating offers of VIMN Americas.
“JC’s understanding of the entertainment industry, strategic expertise and deep knowledge of both VIMN and the international television market make him ideally suited for his new role,” said Lynn. “JC’s tenure with VIMN and impact on the business to date, will ensure both a seamless leadership transition and a continued growth trajectory for our Americas operations. JC played a key role in the transformation of the VIMN Americas business, integrating and managing Telefe and Porta dos Fundos, and is ideally equipped to take VIMN Americas through its next stage of growth.”
Acosta will oversee VIMN operations for Latin America, Canada and the U.S. Hispanic market, where he will be responsible for expanding the business, including its multiplatform arm, global studio, content distribution, licensing, TV channels and digital. He has served as chief operating officer of the Americas cluster since 2015, and has been with VIMN for 13 years.
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role,” said Acosta. “It’s been my privilege to partner with Pier during such a transformational period for our business. The VIMN Americas team is expert in driving value through its ability to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape through innovation, content entrepreneurship, and passion. I look forward to continuing to work with them and our partners as we create and distribute winning content, products and experiences for the region.”