Paris-based family entertainment company Cyber Group Studios has named former NBCUniversal exec Karen K. Miller as the president and CEO of its American division, Cyber Group Studios USA, with Merritt D. Farren joining the company as general counsel and chief operating officer.
Together, Miller and Farren are tasked with expanding the company’s North American development and distribution from Cyber Group’s Los Angeles office. Miller will oversee all operations, while Farren will work with her on the division’s growth strategies while supporting the parent company’s global acquisition and distribution initiatives.
“I see a tremendous amount of potential to further enhance our slate of original best in class content for kids and families to enjoy and I look forward to partnering with our team in Paris to globalize our development while leveraging Cyber’s unique strength and proven track record in global distribution, financing and high quality production,” said Miller.
She begins in the spring of this year. Most recently, Miller served as senior vice president of content for NBCUniversal’s Universal Kids network, overseeing strategy, development, co-productions, productions and acquisitions, as well as growing audiences and franchises. Prior to that, she was vice president of global programming strategy, acquisitions and co-productions for Disney Channels Worldwide, and previously spent 17 years at Warner Bros. as a producer.
“Karen is a talented, innovative, multi-faceted and forward-looking leader, she has an amazing track record in the development and commercialization of successful kids and family global franchises worldwide” said Pierre Sissmann, chairman and CEO of Cyber Group Studios. “Merritt is a best-in- class top executive with a wealth of business affairs and acquisitions experience in all segments of our business. He will be a great partner to Karen in the development of Cyber Group Studios USA. Both Karen and Merritt bring a remarkable and highly impressive background and maintain an esteemed skill set that has concentrated on creating highly successful children’s media and entertainment properties. We are thrilled to have both of them join our Cyber Group family and look forward to their leadership and support as we head into the next phase of our North American strategic growth efforts.”
Farren began at Cyber Group Studios USA in December, and previously spent time as general counsel at SoundCloud in Berlin, on top of 11 years in the Amazon sphere as chief legal officer at Audible and associate general counsel of digital media and new technologies at Amazon. Before his decade at Amazon, Farren spent the prior 11 years at the Walt Disney Company handling corporate law and business affairs for Disney’s studio, consumer products and theme parks and resorts division, serving as the general counsel for Disneyland.
“I had the privilege of working alongside the two principals of Cyber Group Studios, Pierre Sissmann and Dominque Bourse previously, when we were all at Disney,” said Farren. “I am excited to be working with them again and eager to embark on developing the new roster of great family entertainment.”