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Payne to depart Endemol Shine

Distribution veteran Cathy Payne is stepping down as CEO of Endemol Shine International and will leave early in the new year.

Cathy Payne

Staff were informed via an internal memo from Payne, chief strategy and commercial officer Wim Ponnet and Endemol Shine Group CEO Sophie Turner Laing this afternoon.

Ahead of Mipcom in Cannes, which gets underway on Monday, Payne said the decision had not been an easy one but had been in the works for some time.

Payne said: “I knew that I wanted 2020 to bring a brand new challenge. I would like to thank Sophie and Wim for being understanding of this when I let them know some months back. And my biggest thanks go to the team.

“As a sales team, and group of colleagues, there is no-one to match you all. My only focus however now is only Mipcom next week and closing out 2019 to be our biggest possible and to help with the transition.

“I know I can rely on everyone’s support and teamwork to achieve that over the next week and coming months, and that there will be plenty of occasions to say goodbye properly when it comes to it.”

Details of Payne’s next move are not yet known. The company is taking a slate of formats to Cannes that includes some of the best known shows in the business, such as Big Brother, which is celebrating its 20th year, and MasterChef.

Ponnet said recruitment and transition plans were underway, details of which will follow in due course, and an exact date for Payne’s departure had not been confirmed.

Ponnet added: “Joining with the acquisition of Southern Star in 2009, first with Endemol Distribution Worldwide, and then as CEO of Endemol Shine International, Cathy has rightfully earned her reputation as one of the most highly regarded, commercially astute executives in the business. Her dedication, tenacity and competitive nature is legendary and her legacy as an all-time Endemol Shine great is assured.”

Turner Laing added: “Cathy is a simply brilliant sales leader and her contribution has been beyond exceptional. But I’m also respectful of her wishes for a new challenge.

“As you will all expect, she has been singularly focused on wanting to see us through this upcoming Mipcom and year end. So, full tributes will be on ice…but just for now.” The news was first reported by TBI.


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