Comcast/Paramount joint-venture streamer SkyShowtime has added former HBO Max and Disney executives to its leadership team. Roberto Soto, formerly senior VP and head of growth marketing for EMEA at HBO Max and responsible for the streamer’s recent European launches, has joined as chief strategy officer. Moreover, John Heinemann, a lawyer who negotiated the distribution of Disney+ in vital European markets while at The Walt Disney Company (TWDC), has joined as general counsel.
The two execs will join the company later this year. The new appointments will strengthen SkyShowtime's leadership team ahead of its imminent launches across 22 European markets such as Iberia, the Nordics, Netherlands, Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe, beginning later this year. “Roberto’s diverse experience across entertainment and sports streaming services, including multiple European launches, make him uniquely positioned to help define our company’s strategy and drive its execution across the organization. He will be instrumental in making SkyShowtime the next great streaming service for Europe,” SkyShowtime's CEO, Monty Sarhan, stated. “In addition to his formidable legal skills, John also brings business acumen and a strategic mindset. He knows our markets, and he understands what is required to launch a successful streaming service. I know he will be a trusted advisor to the entire leadership team. I look forward to working closely with him,” he added.
The newly created role will see Soto lead the development and execution of SkyShowtime’s strategy, working with all teams across the organization. Based in Amsterdam, he will report directly to Sarhan. Before joining HBO Max, Soto held senior roles leading growth marketing, product, business development, strategy, and distribution at Paramount Global, Fox International Channels, and Liberty Global. He has also worked at streaming start-ups Mubi and Tribes Media.
Heinemann spent five years at The Walt Disney Company and was most recently associate principal counsel for the Nordics, the Baltics, and MENA. During his tenure at Disney, Heinemann was part of the team that launched Disney+ internationally, negotiating multi-year agreements across Europe and MENA. Reporting to Sarhan, Heinemann will serve as the company's chief legal officer. Before Disney, he worked at Fox Network Groups, BBC Studios, and Viasat Broadcasting.
A joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global, SkyShowtime will combine direct-to-consumer products from both, including original series from brands such as Universal, Paramount, Sky, Showtime, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon. SkyShowtime will be available to over 90 million homes across the following European countries: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.