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Liberty Global unit gets new CEO; Guardian Media names new chief

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European technology, media and communications industries.

TOP MOVES

* Cable operator Liberty Global PLC appointed Baptiest Coopmans as the new CEO of its Swiss unit UPC Schweiz. Coopmans is Liberty Global's senior vice president of operations. He will join Liberty Global's executive team while also overseeing the company's operations in Poland and Slovakia. The new appointee will replace Severina Pascu, who is joining another Liberty Global unit, Virgin Media, as CFO and deputy CEO, effective Feb. 1. Pascu will also take charge of Virgin Media's customer service and field operations, while remaining on Liberty Global's executive team.

* Guardian Media Group PLC appointed Annette Thomas the new CEO of the company, effective March 2. Anna Bateson will continue serving as interim CEO until that date, before returning as chief customer officer. In December 2019, the British publisher's former CEO, David Pemsel, stepped down to join the Premier League.

MEDIA INDUSTRY MOVES

* Pearson PLC Group CFO Coram Williams is leaving the company to assume a comparable position in Continental Europe. Sally Johnson, the company's deputy CFO, will succeed Williams as CFO on his departure. Johnson will also become an executive director on the Pearson board, according to a Jan. 16 company filing. Williams will step down from the company's board later this year.

* BBC Studios Ltd. appointed Nick Percy as its executive vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, starting April 1, TBI Vision reported Jan. 15. The British Broadcasting Corp. unit also named Nicki Sheard chief marketing officer, effective in March.

* French company Mediawan SA appointed Delphine Cazaux as the company's COO and a board member, effective Jan. 27. Cazaux is currently COO at Endemol Shine Group unit EndemolShine France SAS.

* ViacomCBS Inc. on Jan. 14 announced plans to reorganize ViacomCBS Networks International and reshuffle some roles in the organization. As part of the revamp, Kerry Taylor, MTV International executive vice president and ViacomCBS Networks International U.K. chief marketing officer, was promoted to executive vice president of VCNI Entertainment and Youth Brands. Jill Offman, who led Comedy Central and Paramount Network internationally, will be in charge of the company's international studio business as ViacomCBS International Studios U.K. executive vice president. Raffaele Annecchino, president of the division's operations across southern and western Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will also oversee the company's operations in northern and eastern Europe, and key Asian markets.

* Christophe Ruet will become managing director of content publisher Unique Heritage Media in early February, according to a Jan. 13 news release. Ruet previously was executive director of customer marketing and broadcasting at Reworld Media SA.

* Axel Springer SE appointed KKR & Co. Inc. executives to its supervisory board, following the U.S. private equity company's acquisition of the German media firm's shares. The addition of Johannes Huth, Philipp Freise and Franziska Kayser means the nine-member supervisory board is complete, the company said Jan. 9. This comes after the resignation of Alexander Karp, Iris Knobloch and Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller from Axel Springer's supervisory board on Dec. 31, 2019.

COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY MOVES

* Kjersti Wiklund and Suzi Williams will join Zegona Communications PLC's board as independent nonexecutive directors, starting Feb. 5. Wiklund will also be a member of the audit and risk committee, while Williams will serve on the nomination and remuneration committee, according to a company statement. Murray Scott, another nonexecutive director, will not stand for reelection at Zegona's next annual general meeting.

* U.K. managed network services provider MLL Telecom Ltd. named Shaun Ledgerwood its new CEO, according to a Jan. 14 statement. Ledgerwood will replace Gary Marven, who is retiring after a 10-year stint but will stay with the company as a director.

* Private equity firm Horizon Capital LLP invested in Sapphire Systems PLC, a London-based provider of enterprise software applications and services. Horizon partner Luke Kingston and director Tom Maizels joined Sapphire's board of directors, effective immediately.

* Accenture PLC said Jan. 13 that it named Marco Huwiler country managing director for Switzerland. Huwiler will succeed Thomas Meyer, who is retiring in May.

* Altice Europe unit Altice Médias France named Arthur Dreyfuss managing director, Les Echos reported Jan. 13. Meanwhile, Gregory Rabuel will lead SFR Télécom as managing director to support the launch of 5G.

* Insight Venture Management LLC, or Insight Partners, agreed to purchase Switzerland-based cloud data management company Veeam Software Group GmbH in a deal valued at roughly $5 billion. As part of the deal, William Largent and Danny Allan were promoted to CEO and chief technology officer, respectively, of Veeam.

* Spanish operator Euskaltel SA appointed Ángel Olabuenaga as its new CFO, according to a Jan. 9 statement. Olabuenaga is replacing Jon Ander de las Fuentes Inchausti, who has been in the role since 2014.

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