David Smyth.

David Smyth has been appointed the CEO of Beyond Rights, with Kate Llewellyn-Jones having decided to step down.

Most recently, Smyth was the founder and CEO of YouLook.tv, the UK’s first multi-channel AVOD service. Prior to, he was SVP and managing director at Twentieth Century Fox and head of acquisitions at Sky 1.

Smyth will begin his new role January 3, reporting into Mikael Borglund, CEO and MD of Beyond International.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining this dynamic business at such a pivotal and changing time for our industry,” Smyth said.

“I’m thrilled at the prospect of working with the talented Beyond Rights team, honoured to be taking over from Kate and thankful to Mikael and the board for placing their trust in me. I am also looking forward to getting to know the other businesses in the wider Beyond group and seeking new opportunities to work together and further grow the Beyond brand in the marketplace.”

Borglund said: “I am delighted to welcome David to the Beyond family. He brings with him incredible depth and breadth, having worked for broadcasters, distributors and more recently an AVOD business, and his rich knowledge of the international TV market, coupled with his sharp commercial skills, make him perfectly poised to lead the team and drive the next phase of Beyond Rights’ future.”

Llewellyn-Jones was appointed CEO of the Australian/UK company last July, following the merger of Beyond Distribution and TCB Media Rights. She has decided to step aside to focus on family commitments, and will remain with the business full-time into 2022 as part of the handover process. Conversations are ongoing as to how she can to continue to support the business on a consultancy basis.

Reflecting on her time at the company Llewellyn-Jones said she was proud to steer the company through the merger and the pandemic.

“I’d like to thank the Beyond Rights team for making me so welcome and working alongside me on the challenges of bringing the two businesses together. I’d especially like to thank Mikael Borglund for his enduring support. I have immensely enjoyed my time in the business but as I need to now spend more time with family, it is right for me to pass the baton to a new CEO and David is a wonderful appointment. In time, I am also looking forward to developing some other professional interests and passions that I hope will mark the next phase in my career.”

Borglund said the team was sad to lose Llewellyn-Jones but was grateful for the significant contribution she made to the business.

“She hit the ground running during an incredibly challenging period in 2020, and her drive, expertise and strategic smarts have helped to deliver the cohesive, ambitious, and thriving business that we have today. On a personal level, I have also really enjoyed having Kate as a colleague so, while I wish her well with her future ventures, I am pleased that she will remain working with us during the transition period and beyond.”

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