Discovery Communications announced the appointment of Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette to the newly created post of chief digital officer, effective October 17. He will report to David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications.

Perrette will lead the company’s digital strategy, its Interactive Technology, Digital Operations and Programming group, and will lead digital distribution efforts with affiliates like Apple, Netflix and Amazon. He will also be responsible for Discovery Commerce, including Licensing and Home Entertainment as well as Footage and Music Services, and Discovery’s U.S. websites,, and

Perrette (pictured) most recently served as president, Digital and Affiliate Distribution and Content Distribution Strategy for NBCUniversal. While there he oversaw the strategy and execution of NBCUniversal’s North American distribution of television and film content for digital customers and platforms across the Internet, wireless, set-top devices and other emerging platforms. His role includes the management and marketing of television and film digital products including electronic sell-through, video-on-demand and many subscription video on-demand offerings. He also was one of the founding board members of Hulu and was key to the creation of new digital channels Sleuth, Chiller and Universal HD.

“JB is one of the top digital strategists in the media industry today and joins Discovery at an important time in our growth and development,” Zaslav said in a statement. “We look forward to JB’s leadership in taking Discovery to the next level of growth as we continue focusing on creating value, deepening engagement with more viewer sampling of our brands, and monetizing our 25-year programming library across an increasing number of digital distribution platforms.”

In 2011, Discovery’s Digital Media division has logged significant growth in video streams, unique viewers and app development, even though the executive suite was going through an unsettled period. Monthly video streams across Discovery’s U.S. sites are up 83 percent to 126 million and average over 50 million monthly uniques, and the company has launched several top-ranked apps that extend its audience interaction.

Discovery Communications includes Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network.