Banijay Group has appointed Cathy Payne as CEO of Banijay Rights, with current chief Tim Mutimer moving to become EVP of EMEA sales & acquisitions.
Payne was previously CEO at Endemol Shine International and announced last year she would be stepping down from the role, as revealed by TBI.
However, in an apparent about-turn, she has now been tapped by Banijay to lead the company’s global sales effort as the Marco Bassetti-led firm prepares to complete its acquisition of Endemol Shine this summer.
Banijay said Payne would “lead the business’ growing global distribution strategy and activities and take the division through its impending next phase.”
Prior to taking up her current role at ESI following the merger of Endemol Group and Shine Group in 2014, Payne was chief exec of Endemol Worldwide Distribution, a role she held since June 2009.
Before that, she was chief exec of Southern Star International for nine years, growing the division to become one of the largest distributors of English-language programming outside of the Hollywood Studios.
Payne, who had worked with Southern Star for more than 20 years, now oversees a vast slate at ESI that spans all genres and includes dramas such as Peaky Blinders, culinary juggernaut MasterChef, reality veteran Big Brother and musical format All Together Now. Earlier this year, she told TBI that the piece of content that had most influenced her career was Australian soap Home & Away.
Re-jigged role for Tim Mutimer
The return of Payne means Tim Mutimer, who has been head of distribution for Banijay Group and was appointed CEO at Banijay Rights in 2016, will move to a newly created EVP position.
Banijay said the role will see him heading up sales and acquisitions for Banijay Rights across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, working “collaboratively with Payne” and overseeing the team and all activity for the company across the region.
Payne takes up her new role on 27 April, reporting to Banijay CEO, Marco Bassetti, who described Payne as “an exceptional leader and incredibly well-respected industry mogul.”
He added: “A creative entrepreneur with extraordinary market knowledge and commercial intelligence, she is behind some of the world’s biggest distribution successes. Having worked with her directly and admired her work from afar, we have long-followed her journey and could not be more excited to have her joining ours, as we continue to build the business and its footprint worldwide.”
Payne added: “It has never been a more exciting time for content creation and distribution, and I am energised to be joining the team as it embarks on this period of expansion.”
Payne’s remit will be huge, with a rights catalogue ranging from MasterChef, Big Brother and Peaky Blinders on the Endemol side to Survivor, Temptation Island, Wisting and Occupied from Banijay.