Ynon Kreiz (pictured) has stepped down as chairman and CEO of global producer-distributor Endemol Group after three years with the Amsterdam-headquartered firm.
His departure comes at a crucial time for the company, as it works to restructure its near €2bn (US$2.8bn) debt load.
Endemol’s board has instructed president Marco Bassetti and chief financial officer Just Spee to manage the business on an interim basis, with non-exec director Charles Allen appointed to coordinate key actions and decisions with the board.
According to reports citing an email from Endemol communications consultant Charles Armitstead, Kreiz has departed due to a difference of opinion regarding the future direction of the company.
In a statement, Kreiz said: “I have worked with an incredibly strong team and our achievements over the past three years leave Endemol well placed to embrace the creative challenges of the future. I thank the shareholders for their trust in me and am confident that the company is strongly positioned for continued success.”
In a statement on behalf of the Endemol board, Allen said: “Ynon has managed Endemol through an extremely challenging economic environment. Since Ynon joined, the group has strengthened its creative output, diversified its lines of business, completed highly accretive M&A transactions, expanded geographically, reduced its cost structure and entered into new strategic relationships.
“A committee of the Board has been formed and already initiated a search for Ynon’s replacement. In the interim, Marco and Just, who together represent a potent blend of financial and operating experience, are well placed to keep the group on a safe path. They will be supported by a strong team around the world, all of whom have been integral in building Endemol into the global leader it is today.”
The news follows the departure in May of Endemol chief commercial officer Tom Toumazis; and comes after Endemol subsidiary Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) earlier this month lost its top creatives John Smithson and Tom Brisley, who quit DSP to form a new, as-yet-unnamed indie.