This Netflix executive just became one of the most powerful women in Hollywood

Bela Bajaria became one of the most powerful women in Hollywood on Thursday. As half of a administration shakeup at Netflix, Bajaria, previously head of world TV, is now the streaming big’s chief content material officer. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos beforehand held the title since March 2000.

In addition to Bajaria’s appointment, Netflix cofounder Reed Hasting announced he’s stepping down as co-CEO, with chief working officer Greg Peters taking his place. Hastings will function chairman of the board. Scott Stuber, head of world movies, was named chairman of Netflix Film.

“Bela and Scott are excellent inventive executives with confirmed monitor information at Netflix,” Sarandos said, pointing to standard tasks launched underneath their management, together with Wednesday, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and Harry & Meghan. “I couldn’t be extra excited to work alongside them as we search to please audiences for years to come back.”

Born in London to Indian mother and father earlier than moving to Los Angeles at age eight, Bajaria constructed a reputation for herself in tv earlier than becoming a member of Netflix in 2016. She joined CBS as an assistant in 1996, and by the time of her departure in 2011, was senior vice chairman of cable programming and SVP of motion pictures and miniseries. She then joined Universal as president of Universal Television, the place she was instrumental in launching packages like The Mindy Project (created by and starring her buddy Mindy Kaling, who went on to create the Netflix sequence Never Have I Ever) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Bajaria abruptly left the community in 2016 over alleged criticism that she was not growing sufficient profitable reveals for NBC.

Soon after, she joined Netflix as head of unscripted and worldwide content material. She shortly rose by the ranks, taking over non-English tv programming in 2019, and was appointed to her most current position by Sarandos in 2020, changing former TV head Cindy Holland. Bajaria made sense for the streaming big because it shifted focus to extra easy-watching and binge-able content material to compete with HBO, AMC, Comedy Central, and others. Bajaria was named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women rating that very same yr. 

During her tenure as head of world TV, Bajaria oversaw a $17 billion content material finances, the launch of Netflix’s most-watched show, Squid Game, and the return of mainstay packages like Ozark and Bridgerton. She additionally restructured the streamer’s TV division and expanded its world viewers, telling the L.A. Times in 2021 that just 35% of Netflix’s subscribers are from the U.S. and Canada, and 97% of U.S. subscribers watched at the very least one non-English title that yr. 

In a recent New Yorker profile, Bajaria likened the splendid Netflix present to what one of her VPs described as a “connoisseur cheeseburger,” one thing “premium and business at the identical time.”  

“It’s not a science. It’s an enormous inventive endeavor. But it’s about recognizing that folks like having extra,” she later informed a gaggle at the firm’s Latin American headquarters in Mexico City.

Despite the firm’s current setbacks, together with its first-ever subscriber loss in April 2022 and plummeting inventory value, Bajaria seemingly embraced the problem, telling the viewers at a media pageant in June that “it’s an excellent place to be the underdog.” The streamer’s more moderen numbers are rosier, with a subscriber rebound in its third and fourth quarters, partly on account of the success of packages underneath Bajaria’s wing, together with Stranger Things 4. The streamer introduced Thursday it added one other 7.66 million subscribers in its fourth quarter.

Netflix didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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