Joanne Waage promoted to CEO of Rakuten’s Viki

  • Former SVP of partnerships promises more innovation ahead for fans
  • Rakuten CEO, Mickey Mikitani sees renewed focus on creative product features

Joanne Waage promoted to CEO of Rakuten’s Viki

VIKI Inc. a leading global TV streaming platform and subsidiary of Rakuten, Japan-based leader in e-commerce and internet services, announced the appointment of Joanne Waage (pic), Viki’s SVP of Partnerships and Programming and former executive at MobiTV and Viacom, as its new Chief Executive Officer. Waage, who led the company’s content and business development strategy for two years, will take over the position from Tammy H. Nam, who remains an advisor to both Viki and Rakuten.

“I’m thrilled to be assuming the leadership position at Viki,” said Waage. “I look forward to leading this young and dynamic company by leveraging our unrivaled understanding of fandom and engagement. Our mission is to bring global entertainment to new fans everywhere and continue breaking down barriers along the way.”

In addition to the broad availability of Asian TV and movie programming, Viki is known by tens of millions of users around the world as the destination of fandom. Viki is known for its crowdsourced subtitles, which remove language barriers that have traditionally siloed popular content within geographical boundaries.  Its publishing division, Soompi, is home to Rising Legends, a worldwide audition for K-pop superstar hopefuls and the annual Soompi Awards, one of the largest and longest running K-entertainment award shows.  

“Rakuten’s Viki has empowered individuals around the world to bridge cultures and build communities through great entertainment and, under Tammy’s leadership, established itself as a leader in innovative global TV streaming services,” said Rakuten, Inc. founder and CEO Mickey Mikitani. “Now, with a renewed focus on diversified programming and creative product features, Joanne and her team are ready to take Rakuten’s Viki into a new and exciting chapter of global entertainment.”

“We are expanding our reach into original production with the award winning ‘Dramaworld’ and ‘5 Year’, a K-entertainment and Hollywood co-production series, which is being produced in partnership with Skybound Entertainment, the powerhouse behind the ‘Walking Dead’,” said Waage. “With a focus on innovative new models for original content and groundbreaking products and features, we’re ready to take Viki to the next level.”  

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