Management Team Confirmed For Venu Sports


NEW YORK — The joint venture between The Walt Disney Co., FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery announced earlier this year that will bring a sports-focused streaming service to life in the coming months has revealed who will serve as members of its founding leadership team, working from both the Tri-State Area and from Los Angeles.

Reporting to CEO Pete Distad, the Venu Sports leadership team will see Tim Connolly assume the role of Chief Business Officer. This makes Connolly responsible for steering the strategic initiatives for the upcoming sports streaming platform, including content rights and licensing, distribution and strategic partnerships, business development, subscriber growth, and retention strategies. Prior to joining Venu, Connolly led subscriber growth for Apple TV+ and MLS Season Pass at Apple, and also held senior leadership positions at Hulu, and The Walt Disney Company.

Gautam Ranji will serve as Chief Financial Officer, and was previously Treasurer/CFO for Sphere Entertainment, where he led all finance functions and was part of the management team which launched the Sphere in Las Vegas. Previously, Gautam held senior leadership positions at CBS, where he oversaw strategic planning and business development, and co-led the merger integration following the combination of Viacom and CBS (now Paramount Global). He has also held senior posts at the Hearst Corporation.

Meanwhile, Amit Dudakia will serve as SVP/Head of Product, responsible for all facets of product management and design, along with programming and editorial for the service. Dudakia previously held various product leadership roles across Fox Corporation, most recently as SVP of Product Management for Fox Technology & Digital, where he led the product and design organization for Fox Sports.

Brian Borkowski will serve as Chief Marketing Officer. He’ll be responsible for marketing, branding and growth strategies to launch and grow Venu Sports. Borkowski is inbound from a marketing role at FanDuel and, before that, served in roles including VP/Media and Acquisition at Hulu

Others added to the C-Suite include Jessica Casano-Antonellis, as SVP/Head of Communications; she previously led communications at SiriusXM and before that was VP/Communications for Disney+ and Hulu at The Walt Disney Company.

Skarpi Hedinsson will serve as Chief Technology Officer; Hedinsson was formerly CTO of the Los Angeles Rams NFL club. Prior to joining the Rams, Skarpi served as the CTO for the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Furthermore, the role of Chief Legal Officer goes to David Hillman, a key member of the corporate legal executive management team at Paramount Global, where he most recently served as EVP and General Counsel for CBS Sports, CBS News and Stations and Broadcast Operations.

Lastly, SVP/Head of People duties go to Judy Schwab, who was formerly a Human Resources leader within Apple’s Services division. Prior to Apple, Judy led HR for The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer businesses, including ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu, serving as a key member of the executive leadership team that launched Disney+ and integrated Hulu.



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