In an indication of massive strikes to return for Roku, veteran TV govt Charlie Collier is exiting his put up as chairman of Fox Entertainment to affix the digital distribution platform as president of Roku Media.
Collier will oversee promoting gross sales and content material for Roku’s owned-and-operated channels featured on the streaming platform that hosts the fast-growing variety of free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels in addition to serving as a key funnel for Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount+ and different subscription streamers.
Collier is ready to shift to his new put up at Roku in late October and will likely be based mostly in New York.
Collier’s appointment coincides with different senior-level adjustments at Roku. Two high executives, Mustafa Ozgen and Gidon Katz, have been upped to presidents as Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wooden vows to create a “next-generation media firm.”
Ozgen advances to Roku’s president of units whereas Katz turns into president of shopper expertise; each executives had been senior VPs. Collier, Ozgen and Katz all report back to Wooden.
“There’s a great alternative to additional speed up and evolve Roku’s enterprise because the streaming platform constructed for promoting, and Charlie is the perfect particular person to assist us capitalize on the second,” Wooden mentioned. “He’s a confirmed chief who brings huge expertise, a historical past of evolving companies, sturdy artistic instincts, expertise relationships and a observe document of driving income and progress. He’ll play an integral function in serving to us obtain even larger success as a next-generation media firm.”
Wooden additionally pointed to Roku’s give attention to progress exterior the U.S. as a cause for the brand new alignment of operations.
“As Roku grows internationally, these positions will assist convey extra focus to key areas of our enterprise as the worldwide shift to streaming continues,” Wooden mentioned. “Charlie, Mustafa and Gidon convey in depth business data and management expertise to Roku. I sit up for working with them and their groups as we proceed to innovate and construct our place … and our total world footprint.”
The transfer comes as Roku is underneath stress from Wall Road to handle its badly slumping inventory worth. The digital distribution platform has grown dramatically over the previous decade, reaching an energetic person base of about 63.1 million as of its Q2 earnings report.
As a distributor with vital nationwide attain, Roku has commanded Hollywood’s consideration. However after spiking by way of most of 2021, the corporate’s inventory worth has plummeted — down practically 74% for the yr thus far, closing Thursday at $60.89 per share — amid sector-wide considerations that the expansion of streaming platforms is slowing, notably within the U.S.
Roku’s standing as a distributor that has solely lately ventured into the unique content material realm, together with by way of its acquisition final yr of Quibi’s programming property, has made the corporate difficult to look at in a fish-or-fowl sense by traders. The addition of a seasoned content material improvement and community programmer in Collier sends the clear message that Wooden acknowledges the corporate has hit an inflection level.
Roku has at occasions skilled friction with key content material suppliers and distributors over deal phrases, together with for HBO Max and YouTube TV. Bringing in an govt with Collier’s expertise is probably going to assist clean these discussions.
Nonetheless, Roku’s announcement made it clear that oversight of relationships with content material suppliers stays the area of Tedd Cittadine, VP of content material partnerships, “who continues to guide Roku’s relationships with third-party apps and streaming providers.”
Roku mentioned Collier will likely be tasked with collaborating on “industrial technique” with Cittadine and Gil Fuchsberg, senior VP of company improvement and strategic partnerships, with Cittadine persevering with to report back to Fuchsberg.
Roku advert gross sales exectives Alison Levin (VP of advert income and advertising and marketing options), Louqman Parampath (VP of advert product) and Mirjam Laux (VP of worldwide promoting and content material) will report back to Collier. So will Rob Holmes, VP of programming.
“Roku is a pioneer in streaming tv and has achieved scale and vital relationships with our companions that can proceed to be distinctive and helpful at this pivotal time within the business,” Collier mentioned. “As a accomplice of Roku, I’ve seen firsthand the ability and potential the platform gives advertisers, companions, content material creators and customers. I’m desirous to work with Roku’s proficient staff to proceed to innovate, develop and produce the corporate and its companions to the following degree.”
Collier’s transfer to Roku caught most individuals on the Fox lot abruptly and there’s no phrase but on a successor. A Fox spokesman would solely say that the corporate has a “unbelievable staff” and that an announcement on a brand new leisure chief is predicted quickly.
Collier and Fox Corp. solid their parting as extraordinarily amicable. In an announcement to Selection, Lachlan Murdoch, Fox Corp. govt chair and CEO, expressed gratitude to Collier for serving to to rebuild leisure operations on the Fox studio lot following the 2019 sale of twenty first Century Fox to Disney. Murdoch cited Collier’s management and “unbridled enthusiasm” as essential to getting the brand new firm off the bottom.
“He and his staff have executed a artistic technique in entrepreneurial and worthwhile ways in which leveraged our broadcast management to construct and assist companies to place us for future progress,” Murdoch mentioned.
Collier returned the sentiment: “It has been a privilege and pleasure to work alongside so many exceptional Fox colleagues,” he mentioned. “Honest because of Lachlan for the chance to be part of the evolution of the storied Fox model and enterprise.”
Collier joined Fox Corp. in late 2018 as the corporate was being shaped following Rupert Murdoch’s sale of his twenty first Century Fox property to Disney, a deal that was accomplished in March 2019.
Collier is well-known all through the TV enterprise as a powerful supervisor of individuals and a savvy marketer of content material. Throughout his tenure at Fox, Collier steered the corporate’s leisure technique and the rebuilding of its manufacturing infrastructure after the separation from twenty first Century Fox. Collier spearheaded Fox’s acquisitions of ad-supported streamer Tubi, animation store Bento Field Leisure, the TMZ celeb and leisure information franchise and the busy manufacturing firm MarVista Leisure.
After the Bento Field deal, Collier championed the creation of the Blockchain Artistic Labs unit to take Fox into the emerging world of NFTs and Web3 content applications. He additionally established the Studio Ramsay manufacturing three way partnership between Fox and famous person TV chef Gordon Ramsay.
In programming, the largest hit the Fox broadcast community fielded on Collier’s watch was expertise competitors sequence “The Masked Singer” and the profitable growth of the “9-1-1” drama franchise with “9-1-1: Lone Star.”
Earlier than becoming a member of Fox, he spent 12 years at AMC Networks, rising to president in 2008. He helped drive that firm’s exponential progress with the success of distinctive unique sequence resembling AMC’s “Mad Males,” “Breaking Dangerous” and “The Strolling Lifeless” and SundanceTV’s “Rectify.”
Collier acquired his begin in cable through the heady Nineties period of progress. He labored in promoting gross sales at Court docket TV (now Turner’s TruTV) previous to becoming a member of AMC Networks in 2006. Earlier than Court docket TV, he held sales-related posts for A+E Networks, Oxygen Media and native TV advert gross sales agency Telerep.
Katz joined Roku earlier this yr after being a part of the staff that launched Peacock in his function as president of direct-to-consumer for NBCUniversal. Earlier than that, he led the Sky streaming platform Now and helped launched Virgin Media’s VOD service.
Ozgen, a seasoned tech govt and veteran of the Turkish Navy, joined Roku in February 2019. He has spearheaded key initiatives for the corporate together with the Roku TV, Roku Gamers and Roku Prepared Soundbars. Earlier than Roku, Ozgen was CEO of SmartKem, a producer of semiconductors. He’s additionally held senior roles at such tech and engineering companies as QD Imaginative and prescient, Sigma Designs, CSR, Zoran, Oak Know-how, TeraLogic and Wind River Techniques.