Aksel van der Wal, currently SVP and CFO, is promoted to the new role of EVP, digital ventures and innovation, for Turner’s international operations, effective January 1, 2017.
Under his leadership the new division will focus on driving profitable growth through international consumer-centric initiatives, including all of Turner’s international multi-platform suite of digital properties and its direct-to-consumer product strategy. He remains responsible for the company’s international technology & operations organisation.
In close co-operation with the Turner International presidents, van der Wal has the responsibility for the existing portfolio of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT, and he will also be charged with developing new digital direct-to-consumer businesses, leading a cross-platform business intelligence function that drives consumer insight; managing the internal T&O infrastructure; and helping to implement the strategy of the non-linear ad sales business. Additionally, he will identify new opportunities for Turner and decide on how to engage in those new areas, through technological product innovation and/or acquisitions.
“As our industry undergoes huge evolution, the impact of digital disruption and changing consumer behaviour continues to put audience insight right at the heart of our business strategy,” said Gerhard Zeiler, president, Turner International, to whom van der Wal will report.
“This new division will ensure that we assess new opportunities for innovation, development and acquisition through the lens of relevant, robust consumer data and through a realigned, agile organisational structure. Aksel’s experience in transformative management, his first-class understanding of both the linear and digital media landscapes, and his detailed knowledge of Turner’s international operation, all combine to make him a superb fit for this new role.”
In his role as chief financial officer for Turner International, van der Wal will be succeeded by Trey Turner, currently SVP, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, who takes up his new role January 1, 2017 as well.
Based in Atlanta, Turner will report to Pascal Desroches, executive vice president, and chief financial officer of Turner, while working closely with Zeiler. He will be responsible for all of International’s financial operations and will be an active partner and contributor in shaping the direction of the company’s international business and implementing its strategy.
“Trey has the perfect experience to lead the business, capital and budgeting activities for our international businesses,” said Pascal Desroches. “He has acquired a depth of knowledge about our company and brings great passion and significant experience to the role. We expect Trey to play a key role in helping us expand our global operations.”