Viacom international promotes Simon Bates to Asia Pacific role

Media giant Viacom international has made changes to its Asian leadership, promoting Paras Sharma to lead the MTV, Comedy Central and PAramount channels in the region, and Australia and New Zealand MTV and Comedy Central vice president Simon Bates to the role leading MTV in Asia Pacific.

The announcement:

Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) today announced executive appointments within the company’s management team in Asia Pacific, which will be effective 1 October 2016.

Paras Sharma, previously Senior Vice President of MTV, Comedy Central & Paramount Channel brands, and Digital Media for Asia, will take on the position of Senior Vice President & General Manager for Southeast Asia (SEA), and will continue to report directly to Mark Whitehead, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, VIMN Asia Pacific.

Simon Bates, Vice President of MTV, Comedy Central & Spike brands for Australia and New Zealand, is appointed Vice President, Head of MTV Asia Pacific, and Comedy Central and Spike for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). Bates will dual report to Whitehead for his MTV regional role and to Ben Richardson, Senior Vice President and General Manager in ANZ for his local brand leadership over MTV, Comedy Central and Spike.

Kirsty Bloore, Research Director for ANZ, is promoted to Senior Director, Research for Asia Pacific. Bloore will report to Amit Arora, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Asia Pacific and to Richardson for ANZ research support.

“I am delighted to announce leadership changes that further strengthen our existing leadership team in the region. Their appointments demonstrate how we’re combining the best talent and assets as we maximize operational and creative expertise in the company,” said Mark Whitehead, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific.

About Paras Sharma

With a new focused leadership for the SEA team, Sharma will oversee the management and operations of the SEA business, identify new growth opportunities and develop VIMN’s strategic plan in SEA. He will remain as the Asia lead for VIMN’s digital and multiplatform business.

Over the last two years in Asia, Sharma has delivered a strong track record with high ratings growth for MTV and Comedy Central, introduced Paramount Channel, led the premiere of Nickelodeon Play in Singapore with Singtel, launched Comedy Central’s first Asia original production with Comedy Central Stand-Up Asia! and worked closely with VIMN Japan to launch the first Linear OTT channel MTV Hits in Japan.

About Simon Bates

Bates will lead the brand teams across Asia Pacific to grow the MTV brand and drive synergies across the different lines of businesses and platforms to support revenue growth across Asia Pacific. He will also maintain brand leadership for Comedy Central and Spike in ANZ.

Bates led MTV to its best year ever in Australia this year with record TV ratings and online engagement. He oversaw a busy year of portfolio expansion with the launch of Comedy Central online, and the premieres of Comedy Central and Spike on Fetch TV. He was credited with the development of hit social-series #MTVItGirls and the localization of UK-developed franchises Club MTV and MTV Brand New. Recently, Bates and his Sydney-based team took home two ASTRA Industry Excellence Award wins.

About Kirsty Bloore

With more than two decades of media and research experience, Bloore will provide the businesses with regional consumer and commercial insights, brands’ performance reporting and forecasting.

Bloore has been instrumental in building recognition of the ANZ business as a leader in consumer insights by sharing key studies with the market.


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