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HBO appoints Nelson as chairman and CEO

LONDON - US cable television network HBO, famed for edgy programmes including 'The Sopranos' and 'Sex and the City', has appointed Bill Nelson as its new chairman and CEO.

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Nelson will report into the chairman and chief executive of HBO's parent company Time Warner, Dick Parsons, and its chief operating officer Jeff Bewkes.

He was previously HBO's chief operating officer and has been appointed as part of a senior level restructure, which also includes the promotion of Harold Akselrad, Eric Kessler and Richard Plepler to the newly created positions of co-presidents.

Under the new structure, Akselrad will manage legal and business affairs, film acquisition and HBO's technology groups, as well as continue to serve as HBO's general counsel. Kessler will oversee the marketing and worldwide distribution of HBO networks and content and Plepler will have responsibility for HBO's programming and corporate communications.

Nelson said: "I'm excited by the opportunity to work with Dick, Jeff and my talented colleagues to carry on the vision that has fuelled HBO's success. That means continuing to develop a fertile, creative environment that generates the highest quality and most original entertainment, with a style and sensibility that is uniquely HBO's. At the same time, digital technologies present endless opportunities for us to deliver HBO programming to new audiences around the world."

Nelson joined HBO in 1984 as vice-president and assistant controller, responsible for overseeing the financial aspects of HBO's general management and international finance groups.

In July 1985, he was named vice-president and controller, accountable for all financial reporting and control activities at HBO, and was promoted to senior vice-president and chief financial officer in September 1991.

In 1994, he was made executive vice-president at the broadcaster. In 2006, Nelson's responsibilities as COO were extended to include home video and international distribution and Hollywood studio film acquisitions.

Parsons said: "Bill Nelson is a superb executive with outstanding leadership skills, expertise and experience. Jeff Bewkes and I are very pleased that Bill, along with his extraordinary management team, will be leading HBO into the future."

Nelson replaces Chris Albrecht, who left the company after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend on the streets of Las Vegas after a boxing match promoted by the broadcaster.

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