Paramount Global has appointed a new leader for its international business, naming Pamela Kaufman as its president and CEO of international markets, global consumer products and experiences.
The newly created role reports into Bob Bakish, president and CEO of Paramount. Kaufman — a Nickelodeon veteran who took on the global consumer products business for the kids’ brand in 2018 — effectively replaces Raffaele Annecchino, who, according to the studio, has “decided to leave the company” in his role as president and CEO of Paramount International Networks, Studios and Streaming.
Annecchino was suddenly put on leave last month, despite having a good rapport with Bakish. No further details about his departure were made available at the time.
In her expanded role, Kaufman will be responsible for driving the growth of Paramount’s international business across six continents, including broadcast and cable networks, streaming and studios. While Annecchino was based in Madrid, Spain, Kaufman will remain in New York, much like Bakish was when he was running international.
She will work closely with Paramount’s international leadership team, as well as the global content and streaming organization. Kaufman will help shepherd the continued international rollout of Paramount+ and Pluto TV. The former SVOD recently launched in the U.K., a key market for the brand, with a splashy London event.
Alongside these duties, Kaufman will maintain her current responsibilities overseeing the studio’s consumer products and experiences organization.
Kaufman became president of global consumer products and experiences for Paramount in Nov. 2021 — a role in which she oversaw worldwide product and business development, marketing, franchise planning, creative strategy, retail sales and consumer insights for all brands in the portfolio.
The executive was responsible for Viacom’s first direct-to-consumer e-commerce site in 2019 — The SpongeBob Shop — and has since led the expansion to additional online direct-to-consumer businesses for merchandise tied to CBS and Showtime shows, such as “Star Trek,” “South Park” and MTV.
Prior to this, Kaufman served as president of consumer products and chief marketing officer for Nickelodeon, where she was responsible for building some of the brand’s biggest franchises, ranging from “PAW Patrol” to “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
Before joining Nickelodeon in 1997, Kaufman held positions at Turner International, Equity Marketing and Grey Advertising.
Bakish said: “Pam has been the strategic force behind growing and expanding some of the most iconic global franchises and properties in entertainment. She is a proven and trusted, visionary leader who has transformed our consumer products organization by driving innovation and operating as a global business. Pam is uniquely qualified to lead our international business as we expand and diversify our worldwide footprint and accelerate Paramount’s transformation to operating with a truly global approach.”
Bakish added: “I want to extend my thanks to Raffaele Annecchino for the critical role he has played in building Paramount’s international business and expanding our global footprint. I am grateful for the dedication he has shown throughout his 25 years at Paramount and wish him well in the future.”
Kaufman said: “I am honored to take on this role at such a pivotal time for Paramount’s international business. I know firsthand the global strength of our brand portfolio, and I look forward to working with Bob and the incredible International team as we continue pursuing our global growth strategy, investing in key partnerships, furthering our push into mobile and digital platforms in new markets, and operating as one team globally.”