Industry veteran Ele Juarez will leave his post as president and CEO of HBO Latin America Group and HBO Brazil to take over the newly created position of managing director of strategic alliances, international sales and music for Spain's Telefonica Media.

In a company statement, the multimedia subsidiary of telecoms giant Telefonica highlighted Juarez's "extensive relations with the major film production companies of Hollywood," with an eye toward "eventual strategic and product alliances into which Telefonica Media may enter."

The announcement clearly demonstrates that Telefonica Media is positioning itself as a heavyweight international multimedia player under new head Juan Jose Nieto. The appointment also represents a definitive turn towards the US market. Finally, the new post marks Telefonica Media's full steam entry into the music industry.

The appointment of Juarez represents a coup for Telefonica Media, which wooed the esteemed veteran into the rival camp of his former employers at multimedia giant Grupo Prisa. Prior to HBO, Juarez was general director of Sogecable, Prisa's powerful audiovisual division. While there, he oversaw the launch of digital television platform Canal Satelite Digital, the warring opponent to Telefonica Media's own Via Digital.

Indeed, with the new post, Telefonica Media looks willing to match recent moves by rival Prisa. Last year, Prisa appointed a managing director for North American operations and, just last month, the conglom opened a New York-based film and TV production company to target the US and Latin American Hispanic markets. Prisa has also made forceful strides into the international music industry through ventures such as MuXXIc and Gran Via Musical.

But Telefonica Media also requires a steady stream of its own and third-party content to feed its multiple distribution platforms which span global TV, radio, film, internet and mobile phone interests.

During his lengthy career in the media business, Juarez has also held top positions with PolyGram Spain, Fox, CBS, Warner Music and RCA.