(Silver Spring, Md.) — Discovery Communications today announced the appointment of Jean-Briac (JB) Perrette as Chief Digital Officer, effective October 17, 2011.  Perrette most recently served as President, Digital and Affiliate Distribution and Content Distribution Strategy for NBCUniversal.

“JB is one of the top digital strategists in the media industry today and joins Discovery at an important time in our growth and development,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications, to whom Perrette will report. “We look forward to JB’s leadership in taking Discovery to the next level of growth as we continue focusing on creating value, deepening engagement with more viewer sampling of our brands, and monetizing our 25-year programming library across an increasing number of digital distribution platforms.”

Overseeing a combined team of more than 300 employees, in his new position with Discovery, Perrette will lead the company’s digital strategy, including Discovery’s U.S. websites (including Discovery.com, TLC.com, and HowStuffWorks.com), Interactive Technology, Digital Operations and Programming group, and will lead digital distribution efforts with non-traditional affiliates (ex: Apple, Netflix, Amazon, etc).  He will also be responsible for Discovery Commerce, including Licensing and Home Entertainment as well as Footage and Music Services.

In 2011, Discovery’s Digital Media division has logged significant growth in video streams, unique viewers and app development. Monthly video streams across Discovery’s U.S. sites are up 83% to 126 million, the sites average over 50 million monthly uniques and are #1 in time spent viewing among all TV sites. The division also has launched three #1 apps in the past year, including the HowStuffWorks and Discovery apps for iPad.

“Discovery is the global leader in non-fiction content, with incredible brands and a world-class leadership team led by David, who I am excited to work with again,” said Perrette. “I look forward to expanding Discovery’s presence in the digital space, finding new opportunities to earn value for its robust content and driving viewer engagement on all screens.”

In his most recent post at NBCUniversal, Perrette oversaw North American distribution of television and film content across digital platforms. He coordinated NBCU’s overall content distribution strategy, and was responsible for NBC’s broadcast network distribution.  He also helped launch new digital channels Sleuth, Chiller and Universal HD and played a leadership role in developing the industry-leading digital venture, Hulu.

Perrette’s industry and civic commitments have included board positions with A&E Television Networks, Hulu, the Peacock Equity Fund and Citizen Schools New York, a non-profit devoted to expanding the learning day for middle-school students in low-income communities.  He will be based in New York where he lives with his wife, Amy and their son.