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Viaplay Group has unveiled its new operating model and executive management team for the Nordics as it anticipates an economic downturn. Earlier this month, Viaplay issued a warning over its second-quarter results and told employees that it would merge the Swedish and Norwegian units of its production arm into a new entity named Viaplay Studios.

The listed banner also has new leadership — Anders Jensen stepped down and was replaced by Jorgen Madsen Lindemann as Viaplay’s CEO and president.

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Under the new operating model, which will be effective on July 1, the daily operation and strategic development of the businesses will be spearheaded by country management teams. Madsen Lindemann will be interim CEO of the Swedish and Finnish operations; Lars Bo Jeppesen has been appointed as EVP and CEO of the Danish and Icelandic operations and will join on Aug. 1.; and Kenneth Andresen has been appointed as interim CEO of the Norwegian operation.

Peter Nørrelund, who recently rejoined the group as EVP and chief sports and business development officer, will also take on responsibility for the group’s operations in the Netherlands, Poland, Baltics and the U.K. The executive leadership team reporting into the Group CEO will be completed by Enrique Patrickson (EVP, chief financial officer and head of strategy and M&A); Philip Wågnert (EVP and chief technology and product officer); My Perrone (EVP and group general counsel); Matthew Hooper (returning to his role as EVP and chief corporate affairs officer); Vanda Rapti (EVP of Viaplay Select and content distribution); and Christian Albeck (EVP of content acquisition).

The financial impact of the resulting changes will be announced on July 20 or before. On June 8, Viaplay announced that its short-term outlook for 2023 was down. Viaplay said it expects to close the second quarter with 7.7 million subscribers, with sales between $414 million and $395 million; and a negative EBIT between $23 million and $27 million. Advertising revenues are expected to be down between 12% and 16% on an organic basis during the second quarter, due to the rapid deterioration in the TV and radio advertising markets.

“This is the first of what will be a number of step changes to ensure that we are investing in the areas where we see the greatest potential, that we are laser focused on the daily business of creating locally relevant products and experiences, and that we are as close as possible to our customers,” said Madsen Lindemann. The executive said Viaplay is “reviewing the competitiveness of all of our operations, and will make the necessary changes in order to drive higher performance levels and improve the returns on our content and technology investments.” 

Madsen Lindemann added that the “new team has the competence, experience and passion to drive the business forward.”

“The new set-up provides both continuity and challenge, which are both essential elements in how we will run the group together,” the executive continued. Madsen Lindemann is the former CEO of MTG, which is the previous parent company of Viaplay Group and also listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.

While it’s streamlining its operating model, Viaplay isn’t pulled out of originals. The banner recently wrapped production on its ambitious action drama film “Stockholm Bloodbath” directed by Mikael Håfström. The movie marks the streamer’s second English-language production, following Lasse Hallström’s “Hilma.”

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