HBO Europe CEO exiting, restructure underway

HBO Europe CEO Linda Jensen will leave the company at the end of the year, with HBO Nordic boss Hervé Payan taking control of the premium channel operator’s Europe-wide operations.

Jensen-LindaPayan joined HBO Nordic in 2012, running its OTT operation in the Nordic region. Prior to that he was at Orange and Italian pay TV operator Telepiu.

He will oversee a division that consolidates HBO Nordic, HBO Netherlands and HBO Europe under one umbrella.

It is understood it was Jensen’s decision to leave and she has not got another position lined up. Asked by TBI about her decision to leave she said: “I’ve had more than a decade building the business, but life has many opportunities and I would like to explore some of the other ones.”

“When Linda informed us she would be leaving we took an assessment of our European operations and decided that to be most effective we should consolidate them under one venture,” said Bernadette Aulestia, executive VP, global distribution operations. “Linda was a significant, strategic voice in this reorganisation and we thank her for that and all she has done.”

“Hervé has extensive experience, not only at HBO Nordic, but across Europe where he held a variety of senior positions. He is the perfect executive to lead this new structure.”

In an official statement, Jensen said: “I leave the company in the hands of such a talented team and under this new structure they will take HBO to new heights.”

Payan added: “This reorganisation brings together a wealth of exceptional abilities and experience. The European television business is evolving quickly and we will be well positioned to take advantage of all opportunities that emerge.”

HBO said no other senior management will be leaving in the wake of the news about Jensen.

Combining the HBO operations across central and eastern Europe, the Nordics and the Netherlands (where it is a joint venture with cable operator Ziggo) will leave a senior management team helmed by Payan, and with Line Mykland as COO and EVP, Nordic and Ondrej Zach as COO and EVP, central Europe.

Antony Root will remain as EVP of original programming and production, Christina Sulebakk as EVP of marketing, and Szilveszter Palvolgyi as CFO.

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