Netflix hires ITN Chief Anna Mallett to run its Global Studios

Netflix has hired Anna Mallett, the chief executive of ITN, which produces news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, to run its international studio operations as the streaming giant pours billions into making its own TV shows and films.

In an internal email to staff, she said that the offer made by Netflix, which spends £14bn annually making and licensing TV shows and films watched by almost 200 million subscribers, was one that she could not refuse.

“It is with very mixed emotions that I write this email,” Mallett said in the internal message to staff. “My intention had always been to stay with ITN long-term, but I have been offered an opportunity to join one of our clients, Netflix, which in the end, I felt I simply couldn’t turn down.”

Mallett, who will leave ITN after less than two years, was previously chief operating officer and managing director of productions at BBC Studios.

Mallett, who will be based in Netflix’s London office, will take responsibility for physical productions of Netflix originals across non-fiction, film and live action for most of the world excluding the US.

Last year, Netflix struck a long-term deal with Shepperton Studios, home to films from Alien to Mary Poppins Returns, to ensure it has access to studio space as production capacity is squeezed by the streaming boom. Netflix’s first original production at Shepperton was the film The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron.

Last year, Netflix spent more than $500m on making more than 50 TV shows and films in the UK, its biggest market for productions outside the US, and has been launching production bases internationally as the streaming wars against rivals such as Disney and Apple reach fever pitch. Netflix produces well over 200 TV shows and films across Europe, and more than 700 globally, each year.

Ty Warren, Netflix’s vice-president of physical production, said: “Anna brings a wealth of global production experience and strategic expertise to our production team as we continue to expand our investment in original programming throughout the world.

“I’m excited to work with her as we continue to stand up our productions and position the Netflix studio for its next stage of growth and success.”

Mallett’s appointment is the latest of a number of significant management changes in recent months as Netflix targets international markets.

In September, Bela Bajaria, who joined Netflix in 2016 and had been responsible for unscripted programming and international content, was put in charge of global television. Cindy Holland, a 20-year company veteran and one of the architects of Netflix’s original content strategy including shows such as Stranger Things and House of Cards, left the company.

In July, Ted Sarandos, responsible for Netflix’s $18bn content budget, was promoted to the role of co-chief executive. The promotion of the 55-year-old puts him in position to eventually succeed Reed Hastings, the founder and chief executive of Netflix.

Kyla Mullins, the chair of ITN’s board, said the hunt for a new chief executive would begin immediately.

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