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Discovery Communications elevates Doug Baker to COO

MUMBAI: Discovery Communications has elevated Doug Baker to the role of chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Discovery Networks International (DNI). He currently serves as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of DNI.

Baker will transition into his new role over the next few weeks. He will report to DNI president JB Perrette and Discovery Communications CFO Andrew Warren. He will continue to be based at the company’s global headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

In his new role, Baker will look into the DNI strategy and research, in addition to leading all financial aspects of DNI finance and global brand solutions.

Baker will continue to lead the division’s regional COO/CFOs in Western Europe, the Nordics (SBS-Discovery), CEEMEA, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific and serve as a key strategic partner to international senior management across the business.

Warren said, ““Doug has been a key architect in the evolution of the international business over the past few years, which is emblematic of his collaborative spirit and controlled risk taking. We are confident that Doug’s new role will push the business to new levels of financial and operational discipline that will continue to drive the unparalleled success of our global businesses.”

Perrette added, “Doug is a proven leader with more than 20 years of financial and operational management experience. Doug’s strong financial acumen coupled with his strategic insights have contributed to Discovery’s leadership as the #1 pay-TV programmer in the world. I am thrilled to work with Doug in his expanded role to position the division for continued growth and profitability.”

As DNI’s CFO for the past four years, Doug led all financial aspects of the division, overseeing revenue, profit and margin growth. He has been a key strategic leader of the company’s major M&A activities, including SBS Discovery Media in the Nordics, the largest acquisition in the company’s history; a majority ownership stake in Eurosport International,; a majority ownership of J:COM in Japan; the full acquisition of Switchover Media in Italy and Fatafeat in the Middle East; and the acquisition of UK production company betty.

Baker joined Discovery in 2005 as CFO for Discovery Commerce where he led the company’s efforts to evaluate and implement strategic alternatives for the division. He then assumed the role of CFO for Discovery Digital Media, Emerging Networks & Business Development, where he partnered with senior leadership to drive cohesion across multiple teams in order to establish financial, operating and strategic control functions for Discovery’s Digital Media Division and Emerging Networks groups.

Prior to joining Discovery, Baker worked in the financial, operating and strategic roles, primarily with leading consumer brand Hallmark. His responsibilities included headquarter assignments in Hallmark International’s Finance and Treasury functions as well as regional leadership roles as Hallmark UK’s Finance & Information Technology Director.