Endemol Shine acquisitions head, Initial MD exit

Endemol Shine Group acquisitions head Erik de Winter is joining ad agency Dentsu, and Initial MD Nick Samwell-Smith (pictured) is stepping down from the Endemol Shine UK-owned producer.
March 9, 2016

The leadership changes at superindie Endemol Shine Group are continuing.

Erik de Winter, the company’s head of acquisitions is leaving to joint Amsterdam-based ad agency Dentsu Aegis Network’s branded content division. Effective later this month, he will be replaced by acquisitions manager Helen Cooper, who joined the company in 2014 from analyst firm K7 Media.

De Winter has been with Endemol prior to its merger with Shine in 2014. Earlier that year, he replaced global head of acquisitions Grant Ross who moved to Zodiak Media to oversee the expansion of that company’s format acquisitions business.

“It’s a great opportunity for Erik and one where I’m sure our paths will cross again,” Endemol Shine Group’s Creative Networks MD Lisa Perrin wrote in an email to staff. “Helen has made great strides in her two years with the group and I know she will excel in the new role.”

De Winter’s departure follows Endemol Beyond International global MD Georg Ramme‘s exit last week, while president Tim Hincks is also stepping down this month after 17 years with the company.

Elsewhere, BBC Studios head Peter Salmon last week revealed he would be leaving the pubcaster’s fledgling production arm after seven months to serve as Endemol Shine Group’s chief creative officer, a newly created role.

Meanwhile, Initial MD Nick Samwell-Smith (pictured) is leaving the Endemol Shine UK-owned producer after nearly two decades.

He will be replaced by creative director Mirella Breda, who joined the Big Brother UK producer in 2014 after working on the broadcast side at the BBC, ITV and RDF, among other nets.

Samwell-Smith will leave Initial in May. He joined in 1997 and was promoted to creative director in 2006. He became managing director in 2013.

His credits include The Match for Sky, Soccer Aid for ITV and Total Wipeout for BBC1. He has overseen 15 seasons of Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother since Initial took over production of the format when it moved to Channel 5 in 2011.

In a statement, Samwell-Smith said he would be taking a break before moving on to “new adventures.”

In addition, Initial has promoted head of production Sandra Smith to the newly created role of director of production.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.