Roberto Soto—former head of HBO Max’s growth marketing team responsible for their successful European launches—joins as Chief Strategy Officer
John Heinemann—lawyer who negotiated Disney+ distribution in key European markets—joins as General Counsel
SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan today announced that former HBO Max executive Roberto Soto has been appointed as Chief Strategy Officer and John Heinemann, formerly with The Walt Disney Company, has been named General Counsel of SkyShowtime. They each will join the company later this year.
Soto joins SkyShowtime from HBO Max, where he served as Senior Vice President and Head of Growth Marketing for EMEA. There, he led the marketing, PR, subscriber acquisition, CRM and growth analytics teams and spearheaded HBO Max’s successful roll-out across all of SkyShowtime's future markets including Iberia, the Nordics, Netherlands, Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe. In this newly created role, Soto will lead the development and execution of SkyShowtime’s strategy, working closely with all teams across the organisation. Based in Amsterdam, he will report directly to Sarhan.
Prior to joining HBO Max, Soto held senior roles leading growth marketing, product, business development, strategy and distribution at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), Fox International Channels, and Liberty Global. He also worked at streaming start-ups MUBI and Tribes Media and has worked across distinct global markets from Latin America, United States and Europe, to Africa and the Middle East.
Monty Sarhan stated: “Roberto’s diverse experience across entertainment and sports streaming services, including multiple launches throughout Europe, make him uniquely positioned to help define our company’s strategy and drive its execution across the organisation. He will be instrumental in making SkyShowtime the next great streaming service for Europe.”
Soto commented: “I am thrilled to join SkyShowtime and can’t wait to work together with Monty and his team to build a unique and premium entertainment brand offering - a combination of iconic, high-quality content from the portfolios of the world’s leading studios, and an intuitive viewing experience that audiences in Europe will love.”
Heinemann, a five-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, was most recently Associate Principal Counsel for Nordics, Baltics and MENA. During his tenure at Disney, Heinemann was part of the team that launched Disney+ internationally, negotiating multiyear agreements across Europe and MENA.
Reporting to Sarhan, Heinemann will serve as the chief legal officer of the company, acting as a strategic advisor to the leadership team and the Board of Directors while overseeing the entire legal function including commercial and transactional matters, compliance, regulatory matters, privacy and data protection, content licensing, and distribution. He will be tasked with building a best-in-class Business & Legal affairs team across SkyShowtime territories and will work closely with SkyShowtime’s Distribution & Partnerships teams, where his experience in launching and distributing Disney+ in many of these same territories will be crucial. Prior to Disney, he worked at Fox Network Groups, BBC Worldwide, and Viasat Broadcasting.
Monty Sarhan stated: “In addition to his formidable legal skills, John also brings business acumen and a strategic mindset. He knows our markets and he understands what is required to launch a successful streaming service. I know he will be a trusted advisor to the entire leadership team. I look forward to working closely with him.”
Heinemann said: “It’s a thrilling time for streaming services, and with SkyShowtime’s exceptional content offering, it is poised to become a major player across Europe. I can’t wait to start supporting Monty and his team in the SkyShowtime adventure.”
These most recent leadership hires come as SkyShowtime readies itself for launches across 22 European markets beginning later this year.
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A joint venture of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA), SkyShowtime brings together the combined resources of both companies, direct-to-consumer experience, and the very best entertainment, movies, and original series from the iconic brands of Universal, Paramount, Sky, Showtime, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon.
SkyShowtime will be available to over 90 million homes across the following European countries: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.