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Viaplay chief exits in restructure

The head of Nordic streamer Viaplay is leaving the company after less than six months in the role after Sweden-based parent Modern Times Group (MTG) restructured the management of its Nordic Entertainment division.

Ira Gladnikoff

Ira Gladnikoff, who joined MTG in 2015, was appointed to the top job at Viaplay in June after the exit of Jonas Karlén.

However, Gladnikoff, who had previously been the streamer’s chief commercial officer, is now also leaving the company with her next move unknown.

Her exit comes as MTG implements a new structure that will affect its free and pay TV channels as well as its SVoD service Viaplay and fellow on-demand offering Viafree.

The structure, designed to reflect “clear digital co-ordination and a focus on the Nordic region,” will see Alexander Bastin, previously VP of Play Nordic, taking on commercial and strategic responsibilities for MTG’s streaming services Viaplay and Viafree in the Nordic region.

He becomes senior VP and head of Viaplay and Viafree, while MTG has launched a new unit called Tech Digital. It will be responsible for product development, technology and data management for Viafree and Viaplay, headed up by senior VP and head of MTG Tech Digital Kaj af Kleen.

MTG’s Nordic Entertainment arm comprises the group’s entertainment businesses in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Anders Jensen, exec VP and CEO of MTG Nordic Entertainment, said that bringing together commercial responsibilities for Viafree and Viaplay meant the company could “create an even more distinctive integrated digital offering in all our markets.”

Jensen added: “Today, Viaplay is one of the leading streaming services in the Nordic region in terms of both functionality and content. Ira has been instrumental in the development of Viaplay into the product and success we have today.”

Last month C21 revealed Viaplay was moving into unscripted programming for the first time, having become a prolific commissioner of drama projects over recent years with series such as Veni Vidi Vici, which got picked up by Hulu in the US.

In related news, Åsa Regen Jansson, previously head of finance for MTG Sweden, will take on expanded responsibilities as chief financial officer for MTG Sweden, Viaplay and Viafree.

Elsewhere, Filippa Wallestam, who was head of operations for MTG Sweden, takes on a Nordic operational role as senior VP and head of Nordic Entertainment operations.

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