Discovery to merge MEA business with Russia and Central & Eastern Europe

US-based media company Discovery has announced the alignment of several of its operating markets in EMEA.

US-based media company Discovery has announced the alignment of several of its operating markets in EMEA to improve strategic focus and enable further investment in its D2C businesses.

As a result of a wider restructure of Discovery’s business in EMEA, Amanda Turnbull will leave Discovery as GM for the Middle East and Africa business. The MEA business will be combined with Russia and Central and Eastern European regions, as well as the EMEA Pay-TV brands, under GM Jamie Cooke.

“We are working systematically to rationalize our operation and find synergies and efficiencies across our EMEA business. We have come a long way over the years and with this restructuring, we have defined a clear path towards a leaner operating model, where we utilize the best competence across markets. By combining know-how and leveraging our scale, we will be able to streamline decision making and operate with greater speed and focus towards future business opportunities,” said Kasia Kieli, President and MD Europe.

“Amanda has been a tremendous leader for Discovery in the Middle East and Africa, building and strengthening our business in both markets and launching new brands like HGTV in South Africa and the world’s first fully Arabic cooking app, Genius Kitchen, in the Middle East. I would like to thank her for her hard work and dedication and wish her all the best in the future,” added Kieli.

“After 6 years growing Discovery’s Middle East and Africa business, I am leaving a strong team and a healthy company that is ready for the future”, said Amanda Turnbull. “I’d like to thank my fabulous team and all our partners and stakeholders across the Middle East and Africa for their support and enthusiasm. It has been a pleasure and a privilege.”

In the new EMEA operation, Jamie Cooke will take on a new combined role for Russia, CEEMCA, MEA & Pay TV, and will continue to cover maternity leave for Victoria Davies. Cooke comes from the role as SVP Chief of Staff EMEA. James Gibbons’ portfolio is realigned to encompass the Nordic markets in addition to the UK markets, and Gibbons becomes GM UK & Nordics. The Nordic markets will be unified under the leadership of Nicklas Norrby. Norrby has been in charge of the Swedish business since 2019 and will now report directly to James Gibbons. Benelux will be unified with Germany under the leadership of GM Germany & Benelux Susanne Aigner, while Spain and France will be unified under the leadership of GM Iberia & France, Antonio Ruiz. Leah Hooper will be taking the role of SVP D2C Growth & Strategy International, and Espen Skoland is named SVP Communications for EMEA.

CEO of TVN, Piotr Korycki has announced his departure from Discovery. He will not be replaced as Kasia Kieli, President and MD of EMEA, will take a leadership role of the Polish television network herself.