Discovery, the US media giant, has appointed Anil Jhingan as president and managing director of its Asia-Pacific division, replacing incumbent Simon Robinson in that role.

Jhingan first joined Discovery in June 2019, from European pay-television giant Sky, as the US heavyweight’s executive vice-president of corporate development in Europe, the Middle East, and the Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. 

He began his career in legal roles at DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells, and after joining Sky in 2000 held various senior executive positions within the group, including at 21st Century Fox and News Corporation, based in Europe and Asia.

In his new role, he will be based in London and will report to JB Perrette, president and chief executive of Discovery’s streaming and international activities. 

Jhingan will be responsible for managing the 12 office hubs which Discovery operates across Asia. These cover 52 markets, 25 separate channels, and 18 languages, as well as the rollout in that region of the Discovery+ streaming service. 

He previously served as group director of mergers and acquisitions and international development for Sky, where he played key roles in high-profile transactions, including Sky’s acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, as well as its recent takeover by US media behemoth Comcast.

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Robinson, meanwhile, will step away from the APAC Discovery business, in order to “lead integration planning activities in connection with the proposed WarnerMedia transaction.”

In May, it was announced that AT&T, the US telecoms giant, is set to spin-off and merge its content business WarnerMedia with Discovery to create a major global streaming player that will encompass entertainment, sport, news and non-fiction.

Under the terms of the deal, AT&T will receive $43 billion in cash, debt securities and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt.

The deal has been unanimously approved by the two boards, and, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the middle of 2022.

Perette, commenting on Jhingani’s appointment, said: “APAC remains a key growth driver for Discovery, and Anil’s industry experience, international track record and strong leadership qualities, working with our expert local teams, will be central in building continued scale and differentiation in this critical region.”

He also paid tribute to Robinson’s tenure: “Simon is an outstanding executive who, together with strong local leadership, has driven significant expansion in APAC, including the launch of Discovery+ in India and the Philippines, as well as increased investment in local content and production.”

Jhingani added: “I could not be more enthused to be working even more closely with our talented teams, as we maintain our strong momentum to drive further growth, during what is a hugely exciting time both across the region and for our company.”