Ahead of its upcoming merger with Viacom, CBS Corp. is appointing a new CEO of CBS Interactive.
Marc DeBevoise, currently president and COO of CBS Interactive, has been promoted to the division’s chief executive officer. He’ll be stepping in for longtime CEO Jim Lanzone, who is leaving at the end of the year to become executive-in-residence at Benchmark Capital. By that point, the CBS-Viacom merger is expected to close, and the combined company will be known as ViacomCBS.
DeBevoise will head up the division’s 25-plus mobile properties and streaming services, including CBS All Access, CBSN and CBS Sports HQ. CBS Interactive is the seventh-largest internet property in the U.S., according to Comscore, with 190 million monthly unique users.
“Jim has led CBS Interactive through a tremendous growth period, both as an operator and as someone who had the foresight to place CBS on the cutting edge of the digital media landscape. CBS All Access and our other streaming services have proven to be game-changing opportunities for the company,” said Joe Ianniello, president and acting CEO of CBS, in a statement. “Jim and Marc’s partnership has been instrumental in our digital transformation, and I’m pleased we will have a natural transition with Marc leading CBS Interactive going forward.”
Said Lanzone, who has led CBS Interactive since 2011, “Marc was one of the first executives I hired back in 2011, and he has been central to our digital transformation of CBS ever since. We’ve been planning this transition together since early in the year, and I know our team is in great hands going forward.”
DeBevoise previously worked as executive vice president and general manager of CBS Digital Media, and senior vice president and general manager of CBS Entertainment Digital.
“Jim’s vision charted the path for CBS Interactive to become the leading, multiplatform premium content provider we are today,” said DeBevoise in a statement. “We’ve built an incredibly valuable and high-growth digital media portfolio by developing new audiences, platforms, services and original content. We have a world-class team to carry us into the future, and I’m excited to take on this role and continue to build on our vision.”
DeBevoise spoke at last month’s Adweek Convergent TV Summit about why 2020 will be a big year for CBS All Access. And with the coming Viacom merger, which will pair CBS’ streaming services with offerings from Viacom, including Pluto TV, “I feel like we’re in a really good position combined,” he said.
He will be taking over CBS Interactive as several new streaming competitors enter the space, including Apple TV+ and Disney+, but DeBevoise told Adweek last month that he doesn’t think the future of streaming is a zero-sum game in which consumers will pick one service and dump the others. “It’s really about the value delivered for the user at the price,” he said.