Viaplay Group restructures leadership & switches to country-based operations


Viaplay Group in the Nordics is restructuring its operating model, implementing a country-based system alongside changes to its senior management team.

The changes come just three weeks after the exit of former CEO Anders Jensen, and subsequent elevation of Jorgen Madsen Lindemann into the role, following a “downgrade” of Viaplay’s short-term outlook for 2023 as the company felt the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and increased churn following price increases.

In a statement, Viaplay said that the new operating model “will enable improved operating efficiency and performance, sharpen the group’s focus on the development of market-relevant product offerings, and accelerate the ongoing review of the group’s operations and return on investment.”

Coming into effect on 1 July, the new Nordic operating model will be based around country management teams with full responsibility for the daily operation and strategic development of the businesses, including full line of sight and accountability for sales, costs, profitability, cashflows, content, marketing and people operations. The corporate and central functions will be reviewed and adapted accordingly.

Jorgen Madsen Lindemann

New leadership structure

Lindemann will be interim CEO of the Swedish and Finnish operations while a search is made for a permanent appointment. Lars Bo Jeppesen has been appointed as EVP and CEO of the Danish and Icelandic operations and will join on 1 August, while Kenneth Andresen has been appointed as interim CEO of the Norwegian operation.

Meanwhile, Peter Nørrelund, who recently rejoined the group as EVP and chief sports & business development officer, will also take on responsibility for the group’s operations in the Netherlands, Poland, Baltics, and the UK.

The other members of the executive leadership team reporting into the group CEO are: Enrique Patrickson, EVP, CFO and head of strategy and M&A; Philip Wågnert, EVP and chief technology & product officer; My Perrone, EVP and group general counsel; Matthew Hooper, returning to his role as EVP and chief corporate affairs officer; Vanda Rapti, EVP, Viaplay Select & Content Distribution; and Christian Albeck, EVP, content acquisition.

“This is the first of what will be a number of step changes to ensure that we are investing in the areas where we see the greatest potential, that we are laser focused on the daily business of creating locally relevant products and experiences, and that we are as close as possible to our customers,” said Lindemann.

“We are reviewing the competitiveness of all of our operations, and will make the necessary changes in order to drive higher performance levels and improve the returns on our content and technology investments.”

Speaking to TBI at the Monte-Carlo TV Festival earlier this month, Viaplay’s SVP of scripted content, Camilla Rydbacken, said that the firm was still aiming to hit its target of 70 original productions this year, despite its financial woes.

The streamer, which has has been a key commissioner of content across the Nordics over recent years, notably in scripted with shows including Danish crime drama Trom, Norwegian thriller Furia and Swedish drama Threesome, is now looking to place increased focus on “safe content” with recongnisable IP such as Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter.

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