Amazon hires HBO & A+E veterans for senior Prime Video & Freevee roles

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power

Amazon has appointed HBO Asia veteran David Simonsen as director of Southeast Asia for its Prime Video SVOD service and also hired A+E Networks’ Edward Guerron as senior content acquisition manager for the UK & Germany for its AVOD sibling Freevee.

Singapore-based Simonsen joins Amazon after almost 15 years as SVP of business development at HBO Asia. He is credited with playing an important role in growing OTT service HBO GO in the region and was part of the executive leadership team under Amit Malhotra, the former Disney+ who was named MD for HBO Max in Southeast Asia and India last year.

Prior to HBO Asia, Simonsen spent six years as VP of new media at ESPN Star Sports and five years as executive producer of new media at TVNZ.

Meanwhile, New York-based Guerron joins the company after more than six years at A+E, where he most recently served as director of FAST & AVOD accounts and monetisation. He also previously held other roles at the US network group, including senior manager of distribution, product development & operations, and as broadcast operations coordinator.

Guerron’s appointment follows Amazon Studios restructure of its unscripted operations of its Prime Video and Freevee teams in the US last month. Chris Castallo, who had previously worked across Prime Video’s unscripted output, now also oversee Freevee’s unscripted programming as the AVOD service continues its expanding originals roster.

This came soon after Amazon promoted Ryan Pirozzi to head of ad-supported streaming service Freevee and Lauren Anderson to head of AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios and Freevee.

Amazon has been increasing investment in Freevee over the past 12 months, spending on US originals and rolling out in Germany earlier this month, its second international launch following the UK last year. The service initially launched in the US in 2019 as IMDb Freedive, before rebranding to IMDb TV, and eventually Freevee in April.

Prime Video, meanwhile, this week reported that its new epic fantasy series, The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power, attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, breaking all previous records for the retailer’s streamer.

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