New York: ViacomCBS has announced a new leadership structure for its global ecosystem of free and pay streaming services. The integrated structure, effective immediately, will ensure a more holistic approach across both free and pay streaming, more closely align the company’s streaming initiatives globally, and enhance ViacomCBS’s ability to leverage the cross-house franchise and content strength of ViacomCBS to seize the global opportunity in streaming.
Tom Ryan, currently CEO of Pluto TV, will assume the role of President and CEO, ViacomCBS Streaming, overseeing CBS All Access, which will relaunch as Paramount+ in early 2021, and Pluto TV. In this expanded role, he will have global oversight of the company’s streaming strategy. Marc DeBevoise will step down from his role as Chief Digital Officer, ViacomCBS, and President and CEO, ViacomCBS Digital, serving in an advisory capacity for the remainder of 2020 to support a seamless transition and the ongoing transformation of the digital organization.
As President and CEO, ViacomCBS Streaming, Ryan will lead ViacomCBS’s efforts to further accelerate the growth of its free and pay streaming services, building on his success establishing Pluto TV as the #1 free ad-supported streaming TV service in the US and a growing global force. He will now also oversee the transformation of CBS All Access into Paramount+, working closely with the team on programming strategy, platform development and marketing for the enhanced streaming service.
In his new capacity, Ryan will partner with the ViacomCBS Content Council to accelerate a franchise-driven content strategy across the company’s streaming ecosystem, formalizing the role of ViacomCBS’s studios as multiplatform content providers. This will maximize the deployment of both IP and talent relationships across ViacomCBS’s streaming and other platforms.
Kelly Day, COO, ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), will take on an expanded role as President of Streaming, VCNI, overseeing all ex-US digital and streaming platforms in addition to her COO responsibilities. She will work closely with Ryan and David Lynn, President and CEO of VCNI, on ViacomCBS’s international streaming expansion, including the debut of Paramount+ in Australia, Latin America and the Nordics in 2021, as well as the ongoing international rollout of Pluto TV. As previously planned, Pierluigi Gazzolo will step down from his position as President, Streaming and Studios, VCNI, to pursue other interests.
“ViacomCBS has a unique opportunity to combine the best of our brands in a seamless ecosystem of must-watch, direct-to-consumer services for audiences around the world,” said ViacomCBS President-CEO Bob Bakish. “As we plan for the launch of Paramount+, bringing together the leaders of our streaming platforms to create a unified global organization will enable us to execute a holistic strategy across both free and pay. We will draw on the breadth and depth of ViacomCBS’s franchises and branded IP to deliver an extraordinary collection of diverse content with the convenience consumers want.”
Bakish continued: “Tom is a pioneering streaming executive who has demonstrated extraordinary talent in creating a differentiated, consumer-centric service that resonates with global audiences. He will bring this same digital expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and strategic, collaborative mindset as we deliver the very best of ViacomCBS to Paramount+ and our portfolio of streaming platforms. I’m thrilled to work with him, Kelly and the team to unify, strengthen and scale our industry-leading digital offering.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with this talented team and build on their momentum, especially as we approach the launch of Paramount+,” said Ryan. “Together, we will leverage ViacomCBS’s beloved portfolio of brands, strong content pipeline and extensive network of partners to deliver must-watch on-demand, live and exclusive original programming to viewers everywhere.”
Bakish added: “I’m grateful to Marc for his many contributions to ViacomCBS’s success. Over the course of his tenure with CBS and then ViacomCBS, he has set the course for our digital businesses and laid a strong foundation for us to build on as we prepare for the next phase of our streaming strategy.”
Of Gazzolo, Bakish commented: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Pier for many years. He has played a pivotal role in ViacomCBS’s international growth, launching our international studio production business, establishing us as a key OTT player abroad and, more recently, shepherding the successful global rollout of Pluto TV.”
Ryan has served as CEO and Co-Founder of Pluto TV since early 2014. Under his leadership, Pluto TV has become the leading free, ad-supported streaming TV service in the US and rapidly grown its presence in international markets, reaching 33 million monthly active users globally. He also led Pluto TV through its acquisition by Viacom in January 2019. Earlier in his career, Ryan served as CEO of Threadless, an online art community and e-commerce company, from 2008 to 2012. Previously he was Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development at EMI Music and was part of the early team at Virgin Mobile USA. He also co-founded Cductive, a pioneering online music service that merged with eMusic in 1999.
Day has served as COO of VCNI since March 2020. Prior to that, she served as President of Viacom Digital Studios (VDS) since November 2017, overseeing Viacom’s digital strategy, including the expansion of Viacom’s original programming across its leading online video and social media platforms. Under her leadership, VDS created and distributed thousands of hours in premium digital content across Viacom’s global entertainment brands, leading the company to reach new heights in audience engagement – becoming #1 for quality social views among media and entertainment properties, based on Tubular ratings. She previously served as the Chief Business Officer and Chief Digital Officer of multi-platform media company Awesomeness, where she was responsible for international expansion, global distribution strategies and revenue across television, mobile and OTT providers, also driving the company’s product and technology investments.
As ViacomCBS’s Chief Digital Officer and President & CEO of ViacomCBS Digital, DeBevoise led the company’s rapidly growing digital and streaming businesses to become a major player in direct-to-consumer streaming, a top 5 overall US internet company with more than 200 million monthly users and one of the largest social video companies with more than 9 billion monthly views.
DeBevoise spearheaded the integration of CBS and Viacom’s digital and technology strategies and operations across its broad range of digital properties and managed its partnerships with major digital video, social and technology platforms. Since joining CBS Interactive (now part of ViacomCBS Digital) in 2011, DeBevoise led its portfolio of digital properties and was the architect of CBS’ digital strategy to become a leading multi-platform content company and a leader in direct-to-consumer streaming with the founding of live and on-demand streaming services CBS All Access (soon to be Paramount+), CBSN, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live. This included developing teams creating 24/7 news content, licensing and producing major sports content including the UEFA Champions League, and creating a broad array of original series, such as STAR TREK: DISCOVERY, STAR TREK: PICARD, THE GOOD FIGHT, THE STAND and THE TWILIGHT ZONE, among others. Previously, DeBevoise served as President and COO of CBS Interactive since 2016 and prior to that in other executive roles at the company.
Prior to serving as President of Streaming and Studios, VCNI, Gazzolo was President of VCN Americas where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s operations across Latin America and Canada, spearheading the acquisitions of Telefe and Porta dos Fundos, which enabled the creation of ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS). Under Gazzolo’ s leadership, VIS secured sales to a multitude of third parties including Netflix and Amazon Prime as well as streamers and broadcasters around the world. As President of VCN Americas, Gazzolo also led Nickelodeon internationally. With ViacomCBS in its various iterations over the course of his 28 years with the company, Gazzolo also served as Chief Operating Officer under Bob Bakish from 2009 – 2014 in what was first MTV Networks International and then Viacom International Media Networks.