Jakob Mejlhede Andersen exits Middle East streamer Shahid

Hell’s Gate

Former Viaplay chief Jakob Mejlhede Andersen has stepped down as chief content officer at fast-growing Middle East-based streamer Shahid.

Mejlhede Andersen joined the MBC Group-backed streamer in May 2020 and had a remit across all of Shahid’s original content and acquisitions.

His arrival came three months after MBC relaunched the streamer, which has since been rapidly expanding its original scripted production and has launched around the world, including in the US.

MBC also launched its Shahid originals unit and unveiled a raft of productions, which include El Diva and anthology Nimra Etnain.

Jakob Mejlhede Andersen

During Mejlhede Andersen’s tenure, the streamer has also been ramping up budgets, with scripted shows including Hell’s Gate. MBC also expanded its unscripted efforts, recently striking a deal for Talpa format Avastars.

Mejlhede Andersen joined Shahid after stepping down as CEO of Nordic Entertainment (NENT) Group’s UK division, six months after taking up the role. Prior to that, he had been EVP and chief content officer for the Nordic operator’s Viaplay streaming service, overseeing a strategy to rapidly increase original productions.

He said: “I’m incredibly proud of the miracle we managed to achieve over the last 1.5 years. We went from 100,000 subscribers to two million, which is unheard of.

“I can’t thank my Shahid content team enough for their incredible efforts and achievements. You guys are superstars and I’m honoured to have worked with you.”

Andersen, who was based out of Dubai, becomes the latest exec to lead Shahid, following the departure of the streamer’s former MD Johannes Larcher, who went on to lead the international roll-out of HBO Max.

Earlier this year, WarnerMedia hired fellow Shahid alum Luis Duran to become general manager of HBO Max in Lat Am.

Tags: MBC, Shahid, Viaplay

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