YouTube has appointed Alex Okosi as Managing Director of Emerging Markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Alex will be responsible for running YouTube’s business and partnership teams across emerging markets in EMEA including Russia, the Middle East, North and Sub Saharan Africa. He will report to the Head of YouTube EMEA, Cécile Frot-Coutaz. Based in the London office, Alex will start in April 2020.
Speaking after the appointment, Alex Okosi said: “YouTube is a game-changing platform that plays an increasingly important role in our lives today through the dynamic content and innovation that it delivers. I am very excited to be joining Cecile’s leadership team to continue empowering creators and elevating value for viewers and partners across the region.”
Cécile Frot-Coutaz, Head of YouTube EMEA, commenting on Alex’s new job said: “I look forward to welcoming Alex to our YouTube EMEA leadership team. He brings a wealth of experience in the content industries and has a track record for building businesses and audiences in established and new markets. Alex will be leading our existing teams in Russia, Sub Saharan Africa, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa to drive further expansion in these key markets.”
Prior to joining YouTube, Alex served as a long-time TV executive. Most recently he was Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom/CBS Networks Africa & BET International.
Who is Alex Okosi? — Biography
Alex Okosi is the driving force behind ViacomCBS Networks Africa (formerly Viacom International Media Networks Africa), home to powerhouse entertainment brands BET, Comedy Central, MTV, MTV Base, MTV Music, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and NickToons in Africa, as well as BET International with channel brand businesses across Europe, Asia and Africa. With media and entertainment experience amassed across 3 continents over a 21-year span, Okosi has a broad background in Business Development, Corporate Strategy, Advertising Sales, Distribution, Digital Media and General Management.
Okosi’s association with the company goes back to 1998 when he joined the Trade Marketing team in New York. He then went on to become part of the MTV Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing division in 2000 based in Los Angeles where he led distribution efforts for the network within his territories in the western region. In 2003, Okosi transferred to MTV Networks International’s Strategy and Business Development team in London where he achieved a personal and industry milestone by identifying a business gap for a youth music and lifestyle channel in Africa, developing the business plan and launching MTV Networks International’s first localised channel in Africa, MTV Base, in 2005. Okosi would go on to spearhead the growth and development of the Viacom International Media Networks business in Africa through launching additional channel brands tailored for the African market including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, NickToons and BET. Approaching its fifteenth year, the business delivers more channels to Africa than any other international network with a collective footprint that reaches 48 territories and more than 100 million viewers.
In early 2017, Okosi was appointed Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) and by July he took on additional responsibility as the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of BET International to drive the growth of the brand in markets outside the US. Through BET linear channels and SVOD platforms, the brand is accessible to more than 40 million homes in over 60 countries around the world. Okosi’s remit was further broadened in September 2019 to lead the international growth and expansion of VIMN’s Live Events business.
Okosi’s mission is to develop engaging content and campaigns that not only entertain and showcase great creativity and talent, but also serve to socially empower audiences. Some of the key campaigns created by Okosi include the MTV Africa Music Awards, MTV Shuga, MTV Base Meets, Nickelodeon Genius, Comedy Central Africa International Festival, NickFest, BET Experience Africa and the BET Awards Best International categories.
For his innovative business leadership, Okosi has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013, an All Africa Business Leader Award Finalist in 2018 and an honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) in 2019. Okosi has also been featured as a thought-leader in key global media outlets including BBC, CNN and Forbes. Nigeria born, Okosi was educated in the US, graduating magna cum laude with a dual major in Business Administration and Economics from St Michael’s College in Vermont.