Netflix merges English and local language programming under one VP

Netflix has streamlined its content team by merging its English and local language original programming under a single head, undergoing a leadership shakeup in the process. Newly-appointed co-CEO Ted Sarandos has named Bela Bajaria, who used to be the streaming giant’s VP for local language originals, as VP of global TV. As a result, Netflix veteran Cindy Holland will be leaving in October after 18 years with the company.

Sarandos said he’s been wanting to simplify how the the company’s content team operates ever since he became co-CEO, with one global film unit headed by a VP and one global TV unit headed by another. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix’s growing TV group has been a source of confusion among among creators, since having multiple execs on point made it difficult to figure out who to pitch to. The publication also reports that the choice had always been between Holland and Bajaria, but Sarandos ultimately chose the former.

Holland has been with Netflix since its DVD-by-mail days, helped it transition to the company it has become and ran its English—language programming for eight years. Under her leadership, Netlix launched huge hits like Stranger Things and Orange Is the New Black. Meanwhile, Bajaria used to lead TV and film licensing for Universal TV and developed a long list of shows that includes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine and A&E’s Bates Motel before she joined Netflix in 2016.

Sarandos said in a statement:

“These kinds of changes are never easy, and I am enormously grateful to Cindy Holland for everything she has done over the last 18 years at Netflix – first licensing DVDs and then as the driving force behind our first eight years of English original series. Cindy’s been a great champion of creators and the power that comes from seeing more perspectives reflected on screen – launching enduring dramas like ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Crown.’ Most important of all she’s been a fabulous colleague. We wish her all the best for the future.”

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