A little more than a month after being named head of global TV at Netflix, Bela Bajaria has set her leadership team.
The new management structure puts all television worldwide under one umbrella, and follows a weeks-long period that saw several top programming executives leave the streamer.
“Each of the roles has greenlight power, so that approach of decentralized decision-making continues because it’s good for our members and good for the business,” Bajaria tells Variety of the new structure. “I wanted to eliminate silos and clarify the lanes, both internally and for creators, so my goal for this streamlined approach is that our priorities are clear: drama, comedy and unscripted, and the new overalls team to be led by Brian Wright.”
The reorganization also includes layoffs, with 10 members of the series content team leaving the company.
Outside the U.S., Larry Tanz has been named head of local-language original series for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Anne Mensah will continue to serve as head of U.K. original series; Korea head Minyoung Kim will add New Zealand to her purview; John Derderian, VP, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and anime content, and Monika Shergill, VP, India content, will continue to report to Bajaria; Francisco Ramos will remain VP, Latin America original series and film.
Kelly Luegenbiehl, who had led Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been named head of global franchises. Luegenbiehl was responsible for overseeing “The Witcher,” and in her new role will be increasingly focused on the expansion of that franchise.
In the U.S., key roles on Bajaria’s team are yet to be filled. Foremost among them is a head of U.S. television, for which the company is now looking. “We have some really incredible executives right now, so we have time to find the right person,” Bajaria says. “I’m going to keep an open mind and meet with people with a diverse variety of backgrounds.”
Until that role is filled, the U.S. team will report directly to Bajaria — among them Brian Wright, head of overall deals and original series; Peter Friedlander, head of spectacle/event TV; Jinny Howe, head of drama development; and Renate Radford, head of current drama.
Dividing drama into development and current teams is a first for Netflix — one that, Bajaria says, “will help us focus on both the long term and the short term, and I think will have great creative results.”
Brandon Riegg will continue to serve as head of nonfiction and comedy specials.
Andy Weil is currently serving as interim head of comedy series while the company looks for an executive to fill the role permanently.
Former head of comedy Jane Wiseman exited her role two weeks ago, one of several execs to leave the company in the wake of Bajaria’s promotion from head of local-language originals. Bajaria’s ascension coincided with the departure of long time originals chief Cindy Holland. Shortly thereafter Channing Dungey left the company and took a new role as president of Warner Bros. Television. Nina Wolarsky, formerly an exec on Dungey’s team at Netflix, left the streamer last week.
Bejaria, a veteran of NBCUniversal and CBS, joined Netflix in 2016. Her rise to oversee all of TV and the U.S. signaled a shift by Netflix to emphasize the global nature of its business.
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