Scandinavian media company Modern Times Group (MTG) has restructured its Nordic Entertainment division to provide clearer digital co-ordination and a focus on the Nordic region.
As part of the new organizational structure, the commercial management of digital services Viafree and Viaplay will move under the leadership of Alexander Bastin (pictured, left) SVP and head of MTG’s streaming services in the Nordic region.
Bastin, who is currently VP of Play Nordic, will take on commercial and strategic responsibilities for Viaplay and Viafree. Additionally, Åsa Regen Jansson has been upped from head of finance for MTG Sweden to CFO for MTG Sweden & Viaplay and Viafree.
“By bringing together commercial responsibilities for Viafree and Viaplay in the same place in the organization, we can create an even more distinctive integrated digital offering in all our markets,” said Anders Jensen, EVP and CEO of MTG Nordic Entertainment, in a statement.
Also blossoming from the company’s restructuring will be the newly established departments of MTG Tech Digital and Nordic Entertainment Operations.
Heading MTG Tech Digital will be Kaj af Kleen (right), who has been named SVP and head. The division takes on responsibility for product development, technology and data management for Viafree and Viaplay.
Filippa Wallestam, meanwhile, will move to SVP and head of Nordic Entertainment Operations from her previous role as head of operations for MTG Sweden. In her new role, Wallestam will be responsible for central marketing and brands, B2B partnerships, strategy and business intelligence for the newly minted Nordic operations team.
In connection with these structural changes, SVP and head of Viaplay Ira Gladnikoff has exited the company “to take on new challenges”.
“Creating an even stronger Nordic operations unit, led by Filippa, will give clarity and consistency to our brands and offerings across the entire region,” added Jensen. “Our local presence is a key strength and we are now reinforcing this further with local sales and marketing resources for Viaplay too, while ensuring that we have pan-Nordic co-ordination in relevant areas.
“Ira has been instrumental in the development of Viaplay into the product and success we have today. I would like to wish Ira the very best for the future and thank her for her fantastic contribution and for all her hard work at MTG and Viaplay over the years.”
The news follows a raft of a moves by the European media company to stabilize its ranks after enduring big changes at the helm, mass layoffs and a sell-off of assets. Most recently, MTG brokered a deal with Providence Equity Partners to sell off its broadcast network for €115 million (US$124 million) after announcing in 2015 that the company would cut 300 jobs across the UK and Scandinavia. Further efforts to right the ship over the years would see MTG selling off various Hungarian channels to Sony Pictures Television Network, selling its Ukrainian pay-TV operations and restructuring its management team.