Alex Okosi is the newly appointed managing director of emerging markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) ,effective April 2020/Photo: YouTube

YouTube appoints Nigerian as Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa

YouTube has announced the appointment of Alex Okosi, a Nigerian, as managing director of emerging markets for YouTube in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Okosi 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, Okosi will start in April 2020.

Okosi says of his new appointment, “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.”

Commenting on the hire, Frot-Coutaz, head of YouTube EMEA, says, “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.”

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. Prior to his appointment, he served as a long-time TV executive and was the executive Vice President and managing director of Viacom/CBS Networks Africa & BET International.

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 YouTube 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.  

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.

As the new MD of YouTube in Africa, Okosi will be tasked with continuing Youtube’s commitment to emerging talent in countries like Nigeria. 

Also, over the past year, YouTube played an essential role in the discovery and spreading of African music to listeners worldwide as non-African viewers made up 70% of the views gained by 25 most popular artists in sub-Saharan Africa.

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.

Kola Tella

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