People/Biz

Nicola Bamford, Wim Ponnet exit posts following Banijay/Endemol Shine merger

Two senior Endemol Shine Group (ESG) executives have exited their posts following the acquisition of the company by Banijay Group. Nicola Bamford (pictured), CEO of international operations for the company, has stepped ...
July 23, 2020

Two senior Endemol Shine Group (ESG) executives have exited their posts following the acquisition of the company by Banijay Group.

Nicola Bamford (pictured), CEO of international operations for the company, has stepped down, along with Wim Ponnet, chief strategy and commercial officer. UK trade TBI had reported that Ponnet was set to leave his post earlier this month.

Regarding the departures, Banijay issued the following statement: “We have had to trigger a number of redundancies through the integration process to adequately streamline the business for the future.”

Bamford joined Endemol Shine in 2017 following a run at Sky as director of international OTT as well as other positions at the UK mediaco. At ESG, she was tasked with leading the company’s operations in such key international markets as Southern Europe, CEE, Israel, India, Russia and China.

Ponnet came to ESG in 2015 from a stint at Yahoo EMEA as senior director, strategy and operations. At Endemol Shine, his remit covered oversight of sales and commercial divisions across distribution, digital sales and monetization, music and secondary rights, licensing, gaming and gambling, tech and IT.

The exits follow the departure of ESG chief executive Sophie Turner-Laing, announced in tandem with the news of Banijay’s completion of the ESG acquisition.

Elsewhere, Banijay has lifted the lid on its senior leadership teams in Iberia and Italy.

Pilar Blasco, formerly CEO of Endemol Shine Iberia, has been tapped to lead all operations for the Spain-based Banijay Iberia, which operates in Madrid, Barcelona, Galicia, Vitoria and Lisbon.

Paolo Bassetti, meanwhile, will remain in place as CEO of Banijay Italy, whose main activities in the country run through Milan and Rome.

Blasco’s footprint across Iberia will include eight labels: Gestmusic, Diagonal, Shine Iberia, Cuarzo Producciones, Zeppelin Television, DLO Magnolia, Endemol Portugal and Tuiwok. Banijay Iberia now comprises global entertainment brands MasterChef and Big Brother, as well as local hits Radio Gaga and La Isla De Las Tentaciones.

Bassetti – who previously served as CEO and Chairman of Endemol Shine Group’s Italian arm – will oversee all 10 production entities in Italy, including Banijay Italia, Endemol Shine Italy and Banijay Studios Italy, and becomes the home of such brands including Big Brother (Grande Fratello), MasterChef ItaliaTemptation IslandCelebrity Survivor (L’Isola dei Famosi) and Bake Off Italia.

“In Pilar and Paolo we have two exceptional leaders. Well-versed in driving innovation, encouraging out-of-the box creativity and navigating the new world of content creation, they are best set to capitalise on the opportunities presented by our recent acquisition,” said Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti in a statement. “In the months to come, they will work to combine the footprint in the regions they control, while strengthening client relationships and putting Banijay’s operations in pole position for the future.”

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