Lee Barlett, the former managing director of ITV Studios, has joined Discovery as executive vice-president for global production management, business and legal affairs.
He will oversee the acquisition of programming content for all of Discovery's networks and digital platforms globally, including content deals, intellectual property and licensing.
Barlett, who will be based in Los Angeles, will join on 1 September. He will also be responsible for maintaining the channel's operations in the UK and report to chief operating officer Peter Liguori.
Liguori said Barlett had unmatched expertise in "managing and negotiating high-level production and content acquisition deals". He added that Barlett's experience would be a major asset to Discovery, which is trying to build global brands with the highest quality non-fiction programming across their portfolio.
Barlett left ITV after Channel 4's Kevin Lygo took over as the head of ITV Studios. Prior to that, Bartlett was executive vice president for business affairs at Fox Broadcasting Company.