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Turner gets into digital ventures; announces key execs in leadership positions

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Trey turner

MACAO:Turner International yesterday announced a new division to lead its digital innovation internationally and promoted with Aksel van der Wal, presently senior vice-president and chief financial officer, to the new role of executive vice-president, to lead the initiative effective 1 January, 2017.

Under his leadership the new division will focus on driving profitable growth through international consumer-centric initiatives, including all of Turner’s international multiplatform suite of digital properties and its direct-to-consumer product strategy, Turner said in a statement during the on-going CASBAA Convention 2016 here yesterday.

In close co-operation with the Turner International presidents, van der Wal has the responsibility for the existing portfolio of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT, and he will also be charged with developing new digital direct-to-consumer businesses leading a cross-platform business intelligence function that drives consumer insight and helping to implement the strategy of the non-linear ad sales business.

Additionally, van der Wal will identify new opportunities for Turner and decide on how to engage in those new areas through technological product innovation and/or acquisitions.

“As our industry undergoes huge evolution, the impact of digital disruption and changing consumer behaviour continues to put audience insight right at the heart of our business strategy,” Gerhard Zeiler, President, Turner International said in the statement about van der Wal’s new assignment and the company’s fresh outlook.

“This new division will ensure that we assess new opportunities for innovation, development and acquisition through the lens of relevant, robust consumer data and through a realigned, agile organisational structure. Aksel’s experience in transformative management, his first-class understanding of both the linear and digital media landscapes and his detailed knowledge of Turner’s international operation all combine to make him a superb fit for this new role,” Zeiler said.

In his role as chief financial officer for Turner International, van der Wal, who will report to the Turner president, will be succeeded by Trey Turner, presently Senior VP, Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions. Al the new changes will be effective 1 January, 2017.

Based in Atlanta, Turner will report to Pascal Desroches, Executive VP and CFO of Turner, while working closely with Zeiler. He will be responsible for the company’s financial operations and will be an active partner and contributor in shaping the direction of the company’s international business and implementing its strategy.
“Trey has the perfect experience to lead the business, capital and budgeting activities for our international businesses,” according to said Pascal Desroches, who added, “He has acquired a depth of knowledge about our company and brings great passion and significant experience to the role. We expect Trey to play a key role in helping us expand our global operations.”

Aksel van der Wal joined Turner in 2014 as CFO, Turner EMEA and was promoted to S VP and CFO, Turner International, in June 2015. Before joining Turner, van der Wal worked for three years and served as CEO, Time Out, at its two main business sites, London and New York City. Prior to Time Out, he was CFO at online ticket exchange operation Seatwave and previously held senior financial and business development roles at Vodafone, including CFO of partner markets.

Turner International operates versions of core Turner brands, including CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and TCM Turner Classic Movies as well as country and region-specific networks and businesses in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. It manages the business of pay- and free-TV channels as well as Internet-based services and oversees commercial partnerships with various third-party media ventures.

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