John Heinemann – the attorney who negotiated the distribution of Disney+ in key European markets – is joining as general counsel. The appointments strengthen the SkyShowtime leadership team ahead of the impending launch.
AMSTERDAM, July 27, 2022 – SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan announced today that former HBO Max CEO Roberto Soto has been appointed Director of Strategy and John Heinemann, formerly of The Walt Disney Company, as SkyShowtime’s general counsel. They will join the company later this year.
Soto comes from HBO Max, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Growth Marketing for EMEA. There, he led the marketing, PR, subscriber acquisition, customer relationship management, and growth analytics teams and led the successful launch of HBO Max in all future SkyShowtime markets, including the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe. In this newly created role, Soto will be responsible for developing and implementing the SkyShowtime strategy, working closely with all teams within the organization. Soto is based in Amsterdam and will report directly to Sarhan.
Prior to joining HBO Max, Soto held senior leadership positions in growth marketing, product development, business development, strategy and distribution at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), Fox International Channels and Liberty Global. He has also worked on operating startups MUBI and Tribes Media and in several global markets, from Latin America, the United States and Europe to Africa and the Middle East.
Monty Sarhan on Soto: “With his extensive experience in entertainment and sports broadcasting services, including multiple launches in Europe, Roberto is well positioned to help shape our company strategy and guide its implementation across the enterprise. He will play an important role in developing SkyShowtime into the next great streaming service for Europe.”
Soto explained:“I can’t wait to get started on SkyShowtime and work with Monty and his team to build a unique, premium entertainment brand – combining premium, high-quality content from the portfolios of leading studios with an intuitive viewing experience that gives viewers access to Europe they will love.”
Heinemann, who worked at Walt Disney for five years, was until recently the co-principal advisor to Scandinavia, the Baltic states, and the Middle East and North Africa region. During his tenure at Disney, Heinemann was part of the team that launched Disney+ internationally and struck multi-year agreements in Europe and the MENA region.
Heinemann will report to Sarhan and serve as the company’s legal director. In this position, he will act as a strategic advisor to the leadership team and the Board of Directors, overseeing the entire legal department, including commerce, transactions, compliance, regulation, privacy, data protection, content licensing and distribution. He will develop a top-tier business and legal team in the SkyShowtime regions and will work closely with the SkyShowtime distribution and partnerships teams, where his experience in launching and distributing Disney+ in a variety of these regions will be critical. Prior to taking up his role at Disney, he worked for Fox Network Groups, BBC Studios and Viasat Broadcasting.
Monty Sarhan on Heinemann: In addition to his impressive legal skills, John also possesses business acumen and a strategic mindset. He knows our markets and understands what it takes to launch a successful streaming service. I am sure he will be a trusted advisor to the entire leadership team. I look forward to working with him closely.”
Heinemann said:It’s an exciting time for streaming services and with exceptional content on offer, SkyShowtime is poised to become a major player in Europe. I can’t wait to support Monty and his team on this SkyShowtime adventure. “
The latest additions to the leadership team come as SkyShowtime prepares to launch in 22 European markets, starting later this year.
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