Starz has hired executives from Netflix and Lionsgate as it bolsters its international digital networks team.

The Lionsgate-owned company has appointed Darren Nielson as Senior Vice President of Distribution and Business Development and Jeff Cooke as Vice President of Programming.

Neilson will lead the distribution and business development for the Starz-branded digital and linear services and channels and will look to develop expansion strategies, identify and evaluate partner opportunities, and source and negotiate distribution agreements. He was previously Direct of Content Acquisition at Netflix and instrumental in launching and building Netflix across Europe and Asia.

Cooke will oversee programming for the international expansion of the Starz direct-to-consumer subscription service to new global markets. He will work with London-based Brett Marottoli, Head of Program Acquisitions, to identify and acquire additional content for the Starzplay platform. Previously he was Vice President of Global Digital at Lionsgate. Prior to Lionsgate, he held positions at Miramax and MGM.

Both execs are based in the company’s Santa Monica office and report to Executive Vice President Superna Kalle.

“Darren and Jeff bring a wealth of global acumen and skill to this international team at a time of significant growth for our company and our brand,” said Kalle. “I look forward to exploring new opportunities around the world for our content across digital and linear platforms with them on board.”