The largest Hispanic media group in the US announced its new leadership team to take it into “a new era”. Among them, Pierluigi Gazzolo was named Chief Transformation Officer, and Luis Silberwasser, president of Television Networks Group.
Univision, the leading Hispanic media company in the United States, announced changes to the executive leadership team that will accelerate its leadership position and drive Univision’s transformation for the future. The appointments, which are all effective immediately, include:
– Pierluigi Gazzolo, appointed to the newly created role of President of Univision Communications Inc. and Chief Transformation Officer to drive the next era of growth.
– Luis Silberwasser, appointed to the newly created role of President of the Univision Television Networks Group to lead Univision’s national TV properties.
– Donna Speciale, named President of Advertising Sales and Marketing, to drive innovative expansion of Univision’s offering for advertisers.
– Friday Abernethy, promoted to Executive Vice President of Content Distribution and Partnerships.
– Adam Shippee, promoted to the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Strategy and Transformation.
– Amy Tenbrink, promoted to EVP & Associate General Counsel, Revenue/Business Development with expanded responsibilities across the Digital business.
Together these leaders will usher in an exciting new chapter for the company as it creates more opportunities to access and represent the voice of Hispanics, one of the world’s most important audiences.
“Today begins a transformation for Univision. One that will see us accelerate our position as the leading U.S. Hispanic media company as we launch new products and services that will drive value for our U.S. Hispanic audience and for our advertising and distribution partners, who want to reach and engage with this critical audience,” said Wade Davis, CEO of Univision.
“Achieving our objectives will require new ways of working together, diversity of perspectives and in some cases new talent and skillsets. We began the evolution of our team with the appointment of world class leaders to our board of directors to bring together skillsets and diversity that Univision has never had at the board level. Today we are announcing a new, industry leading executive leadership team that exemplifies the traits of innovation, collaboration, inclusivity and accountability that will be central to our transformation. Each of these leaders understand the need to optimize Univision’s core businesses to meet its audience where they are and evolve its content, platforms and products to reach the market in new ways.”
Bringing Industry-leading Talent to Univision
As President of Univision Communications Inc. and Chief Transformation Officer, Pierluigi Gazzolo will lead Univision’s transformation and growth efforts. Gazzolo will be responsible for overseeing the future streaming business and cross-functional collaboration among different business units at Univision and setting the culture to achieve this next era of growth for the company. Gazzolo will lead the immediate shift toward a more innovative, entrepreneurial and collaborative Univision business that will be necessary to meet the Company’s strategic long-term objectives. Supporting Gazzolo in these efforts will be Sameer Deen, Chief Digital Officer; Margaret Lazo, Chief Human Resources Officer; Rosemary Mercedes, Chief Communications Officer; and Adam Shippee, in a newly created role of Executive Vice President, Corporate Development, Strategy and Transformation, each of whom will report directly to him.
Gazzolo brings deeply relevant experience from his previous roles at ViacomCBS, where he served in a number of capacities from Chief Operating Officer of Viacom’s International business to most recently as President of Streaming and Studios for ViacomCBS Networks International, where he was hand-selected by the CEO to lead Viacom’s similar transformation from a linear provider into a world-class digital-first media company. He is recognized for launching Viacom International Studios, successfully building Viacom’s first unified streaming division, driving investments toward its subscription video on demand service and driving the growth of PlutoTV, Viacom’s advertising-based streaming service, outside of the United States. Prior to this role, Gazzolo served as President of ViacomCBS Networks for Latin America and Canada, where he was credited with leading a transformational shift for the company through a series of strategic acquisitions, launching its fast-growing international studios and realigning Viacom’s digital and streaming goals to drive long-term success.
In his position as President of the Univision Television Networks Group, Luis Silberwasser will be responsible for continuing to accelerate Univision’s lead in U.S. Hispanic media across the full portfolio of Univision’s national television networks. Daniel Coronell, President of News; David Rabinowitz, Executive Vice President of Broadcast Operation and Technology; Jessica Rodriguez, President of Entertainment and CMO; and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Sports, will report directly to him. Silberwasser is a seasoned media executive who brings a fresh perspective and valuable industry insights from his tenures at Telemundo and Discovery Communications. Most recently, Silberwasser served as President at Telemundo Networks, where he was credited with overhauling the company’s content strategy and modernizing the brand for its target Hispanic audience. During Silberwasser’s oversight of Telemundo he drove record ratings growth for the company particularly during the primetime daypart.
Donna Speciale will be tasked with leading the advancement of Univision’s advertising and marketing solutions business. As the largest U.S. Hispanic media company, Univision has a unique opportunity deliver new and innovative products and solutions that complement its core linear offering. Speciale, who has been a leader in the evolution of television advertising, most recently served as the President of Advertising Sales at WarnerMedia. There, in addition to driving growth she launched a range of advanced TV products and helped establish OpenAP, the first open platform for TV advertisers to reach audiences across publishers and is recognized in the industry as a trailblazer for transforming advertising. She brings an extensive set of skills, experiences and relationships which will be critical as Univision seeks to expand its portfolio of advertising products with innovative offerings to connect viewers and advertisers.
Promoting Exceptional Univision Talent
In addition to these appointments, Amy Tenbrink and Glenn Dryfoos, EVP and General Counsel Univision Networks, will be elevated to the roles of Co-Interim General Counsel, while a search for a permanent General Counsel is undertaken. Chief Marketing Officer and President of Entertainment, Jessica Rodriguez, will continue to report to Univision CEO Wade Davis in her capacity as CMO and will now also report to the President of the Univision Television Networks Group in her capacity as President of Entertainment.
In her new role, Friday Abernethy will propel the enhancement of Univision’s digital presence and expansion of the company’s portfolio of market-defining content for the next generation of Hispanic viewers. Abernethy previously served as Senior Vice President of Content Distribution at Univision.
In addition, Jonathan Schwartz (Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer) has decided to leave the Company and will serve in a transitional role as senior advisor to the Company.
In association with these leadership changes and the close of the transaction with ForgeLight and Searchlight, Henry Ahn (President of Distribution) and Steve Mandala (President of Advertising Sales and Marketing) will depart from Univision.