Wiedenfels will join the company from ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, where he is currently also the CFO.
He will succeed Andrew Warren, who previously announced his plans to depart Discovery and agreed to extend his contract term to ensure a smooth transition of CFO responsibilities.
Commenting on the appointment, David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, to whom Wiedenfels will report, said: “As Discovery continues our rapid growth and diversification in new content and digital platforms around the world, Gunnar is the ideal choice to lead our global finance strategy and organisation.
“Gunnar’s international expertise aligns perfectly with our future growth profile, and he brings to Discovery an exceptional reputation in the capital markets, strong industry expertise and a strategic focus to help unlock the value of our investments. He will be a terrific addition to our management team and I look forward to working with him to continue to drive Discovery’s global business.”
As CFO, Wiedenfels will be responsible for leading the global financial functions and strategies of the company and direct all accounting, treasury, budgeting, tax and investor relations activities. He will serve as a member of Discovery’s executive team and contribute to the overall strategic direction of the company.
He will join Discovery following seven years in management roles at ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE in Munich, Germany.
Weidenfeld will move to New Your foe family reasons and the search for his successor has already begun, with Ralf Peter Gierig, executive VP Group Finance & Investor Relations, being promoted todeputy CFO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, with immediate effect.
Thomas Ebeling, CEO, said: “I sincerely regret the departure of Gunnar Wiedenfels but, at the same time, have great respect for his decision to accept a new task in the United States. Since joining us from McKinsey in 2009, I have worked very closely with Gunnar and I wish him and his family all the very best in New York. At the same time, I am delighted that Ralf Gierig will additionally assume the role of our Deputy CFO. Ralf is one of my most important and closest advisers and has been our voice in the capital markets for the past 20 years.”
Dr. Werner Brandt, chairman of the Supervisory Board, added: “Gunnar Wiedenfels had a brilliant career here at ProSiebenSat.1, which now leads him to a new role in the United States. We truly regret his departure, but it also proves what a talent powerhouse ProSiebenSat.1 has become. I wish Gunnar every success in the United States.”
Wiedenfels said: “Leaving ProSiebenSat.1 will be very tough for me. First and foremost, my thanks go to Thomas Ebeling, who brought me into the company and gave me great opportunities here. Without him I would not be where I am today. He has turned ProSiebenSat.1 into a great business that is excellently positioned for the future and provides a unique work environment, not only in the financial sector. I would also like to thank our Chairman Werner Brandt for our high trust working relationship.”