A familiar face at international markets, Simms has been with the 21st Century Fox-owned broadcaster for more than twelve years, during which time he bought first-run rights to series including Breaking Bad and Dexter.
He also helped develop global series roll-out strategy, which has seen The Walking Dead, Wayward Pines and others debut simultaneously in more than 180 territories.
Sky Vision’s previous director of drama and comedy Kylie Munnich exited in September to join LA-based prodco Sonar Entertainment, relocating to Sydney to become senior VP, international distribution, Australasia.
Reporting into Sky Vision managing director Jane Millichip from March 20, Simms will lead drama and comedy acquisitions, deficit-funding and presales at the UK-based distributor, which is part of the Fox-backed satcaster Sky.
Sky Vision has become an increasing investor in Sky originals, trading cash up front for international distribution rights on series such as Fortitude, Britannia and Riviera; and has moved into third-party drama coproduction through series such Netflix and Shaw time-travel series Travelers and FX mob drama Bad Blood.
Millichip said Simms was “one of the most respected and well-regarded drama executives on the international circuit”, adding: “He has an unnervingly keen eye for a hit, and is renowned as a smart and professional deal-maker.”
Simms will work alongside Sky Vision director of sales Leona Connell and senior VP, sales and acquisitions for the US Gillian Rose on Sky Vision’s global scripted strategy.