ViacomCBS announces KordaMentha’s Jarrod Villani as co-lead for ops in ANZ

ViacomCBS has announced Jarrod Villani will stand alongside Beverley McGarvey as co-lead on operations in Australia and New Zealand. Villani will take on the role of chief operating and commercial officer at the media company, filling a blank which has been left open since Paul Anderson left the business eight months ago.

Villani joins from KordaMentha where he was Queensland’s head of restructuring and Brisbane’s head of office with the advisory and investment firm.

In the new role he will be responsible for all the combined company’s commercial activities and operations in both Australia and New Zealand.

ViacomCBS says Villani will bring a ‘wealth of experience’ in organisational transformation, business stabilisation and sustainable growth to the role. The new position follows a number of redundancy rounds at Ten during COVID-19, including the closure of its 10 Daily platform.

McGarvey, who holds the title of chief content officer and executive vice president at the media company, will still hold responsibility for all content and creative activities in ANZ. Both she and Villani, who will commence in the new role in early 2021, will report to Maria Kyriacou, president of ViacomCBS’ operations in Australia, Israel and the UK.

Chief sales officer, Rod Prosser, will work closely with both McGarvey and Villani to further strengthen revenue growth and strategy while providing oversight and management of the entire Ten ViacomCBS sales team.

Speaking to the appointment, Kyriacou said ViacomCBS was happy with how Ten was performing.

“Network 10 has performed very well this year. It is the only commercial network growing its audience and it has also recorded its highest commercial shares in key demographics since 2011. The integration and transformation of Network 10 and ViacomCBS under the leadership of Beverley has been successfully completed. We have launched a new channel, 10 Shake, 10 Play is experiencing its biggest ever digital audience and the MTV and Nickelodeon channels have also grown their share,” she said.

“We will continue to build on that momentum, while at the same time leveraging the powerful ViacomCBS brands and assets from both a content and revenue perspective.

“Jarrod is a highly qualified commercial leader with extensive experience in organisational transformation and stakeholder management. Jarrod’s broad commercial knowledge coupled with Beverley’s experience as an Australian media and creative leader ensures the business remains a unique and powerful media group. It is in great hands.

“I would like to congratulate Beverley for her leadership of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand since March this year. It is a credit to Beverley and her team that the business has continued to compete and evolve.”

KordaMentha also supplied the interim chief transformation officer for the business, Henriette Rothschild. Kyriacou thanked Rothschild for her time in the role and assistance during the merger.

McGarvey said she was looking forward to the future of Ten with Villani joining her at the helm.

“I am thrilled Jarrod is joining our team and I look forward to working closely with him alongside the existing Executive Leadership Team and the international leadership team as we take ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand into 2021.

“Next year we will launch premium SVOD service Paramount + whilst growing our existing linear and subscription broadcast and digital assets. Jarrod has worked closely with the team throughout this year and on a project basis in the past and we are thrilled to have him join us on a permanent basis.”

Villani said he was excited to take on the new challenge and confident in the future of the media business.

“I am delighted to be joining Beverley, Rod and the team at ViacomCBS and continuing the development of the business. The combination of ViacomCBS’ global content portfolio and Network 10’s broad reach and key demographic prominence provides a unique opportunity in our markets for our viewers and partners across multiple platforms.

“It’s a very exciting time for the network and the broader ViacomCBS business and I look forward to joining them in the new year.”

Ten has been on a transformation path since CBS acquired the business in November 2017. Since then, it has ended a sales partnership with Foxtel Media, putting Prosser in the position to build an entirely new sales team to oversee. 

In March, following the exit of Anderson, Ten said it would be appointing co-leads for the business. McGarvey took one half of that role, while there has been much speculation about who would take the other role.


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