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Turner announces Digital Ventures and Innovation division

Aksel van der Wal has been promoted as Executive Vice-President to lead the new international unit. Trey Turner is named new CFO, International

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | November 10, 2016

(L-R) Aksel van der Wal & Trey Turner (L-R) Aksel van der Wal & Trey Turner

Global media company Turner announced a new digital division to lead its digital innovation internationally.

Aksel van der Wal, currently Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, is promoted to the new role of Executive Vice-President, Digital Ventures and Innovation, for Turner’s international operations, effective from January 1, 2017. For Chief Financial Officer of Turner International, Wal will be succeeded by Trey Turner, currently Senior Vice-President, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, from January 1, 2017.

Wal will directly report to Gerhard Zeiler, President, Turner International. Under Wal’s leadership, the new division will focus on driving profitable growth through international consumer-centric initiatives, including all of Turner’s international multi-platform suite of digital properties and its direct-to-consumer product strategy. He remains responsible for the company’s international technology & operations (T&O) organisation.

Zeiler said, “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. 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.”

Based in Atlanta, Trey will report to Pascal Desroches, Executive Vice-President, and Chief Financial Officer of Turner, while working closely with Zeiler. He will be responsible for all of international financial operations and will be an active partner and contributor in shaping the direction of the company’s international business and implementing its strategy.

Desroches said, “Trey has the perfect experience to lead the business, capital and budgeting activities for our international businesses. 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.”

In close co-operation with the Turner International presidents, Wal has the responsibility for the existing portfolio of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT. He will also be tasked with developing new digital direct-to-consumer businesses, leading a cross-platform business intelligence function that drives consumer insight; managing the internal T&O infrastructure; and helping to implement the strategy of the non-linear ad sales business. Additionally, he will identify new opportunities for Turner and decide on how to engage in those new areas, through technological product innovation and/or acquisitions.

Wal joined Turner in 2014 as CFO, Turner EMEA and was promoted to Senior Vice-President and CFO, International, in June 2015. Before joining Turner, Wal worked for three years and served as CEO, Time Out, at its two main business sites, London and New York City. His leadership of its global operations embraced digital expansion, a complete overhaul of its digital platforms, new e-commerce operations and the revitalisation of its traditional businesses through innovative approaches. Before Time Out, he was CFO at leading online ticket exchange operation Seatwave, and previously held senior financial and business development roles at Vodafone, including CFO of partner markets. He started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Trey Turner is currently SVP, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions for Turner, overseeing consolidated financial planning and corporate development activities for the company. Before his current role, Trey was director of finance for CNN worldwide where he was responsible for strategic finance support, leading the financial analysis and business justification for new initiatives, partnerships, and investments. Prior to joining the company, Trey was with the corporate finance department of Stephens Inc., a leading investment bank and private equity firm.

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.

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