Fifa hires CAA Eleven’s Petit as director of media rights

Fifa has appointed CAA Eleven’s Jean-Christophe Petit as its new director of media rights, following Josh Smith’s recent move to become global head of media sales at the Premier League.

Petit is swapping Nyon for Zurich after close to seven years at CAA Eleven selling media rights to Uefa national team competitions, latterly as senior vice-president, head of media. He will head up Fifa’s media rights sales and broadcaster servicing operations.

Smith arrived as Fifa’s director of TV services in May 2017 but this month took up his new role at the Premier League.

The addition of Petit at Fifa comes as Simon Thomas, the international federation’s new chief commercial officer, undertakes a restructuring of operations.

As part of that restructure, SportBusiness understands that the commercial and digital departments are being combined. As a result, departures from the erstwhile standalone digital unit include Luis Vicente, who was appointed to the newly-created role of chief digital transformation and innovation officer just over a year ago.

Fifa is thought to view the merging of the two divisions as a logical development reflective of the evolving and converging nature of the digital marketplace.

The arrival of Thomas, who began his work at Fifa this month, came as incumbent chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h headed for the exit.

Petit joined CAA Eleven at the end of 2012 after six years with Uefa in media rights positions. He began his career at Eurosport as a channels promotion manager before moving into rights acquisitions at the Paris-based broadcaster.

Le Floc’h was appointed as Fifa’s chief commercial officer just under three years ago as then new president Gianni Infantino undertook an organisational overhaul. He has now returned to Malaysia to continue his career in the Asian region.