September 9, 2020 | 10:26am | Updated September 9, 2020 | 3:32pm
One of Netflix’s highest-ranking and longest-serving executives, Cindy Holland, is leaving the company.
In a surprise announcement late Tuesday, the Los Gatos, Calif.-based streaming giant said Holland — an 18-year Netflix veteran who greenlighted and developed hits like “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things” and “Orange is the New Black” — will be replaced by Bela Bajaria, who is being promoted to vice president of global TV after just four years at the company.
The shakeup may be the most striking example yet of the take-no-prisoners work culture at Netflix, where even the most senior and acclaimed executives can lose their jobs to bright new prospects.
Holland was a widely acclaimed executive who led the streamer’s foray into original programming and helped turn the DVD-by-mail company into a major force in Hollywood and leader of the streaming revolution.
Prior to the announcement, Netflix’s original TV content portfolio had been split between Holland, who held the title of vice president of original content and oversaw all English-language programming; and Bajaria, vice president of local language originals, who led non-English TV programming.
Now Bajaria — whose hits have included “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Master of None” — will head the entire division, overseeing scripted and unscripted English- and local-language original programming.
The shuffle marks the first major change under Ted Sarandos, who was recently promoted to co-chief executive from chief content officer. He said Tuesday that the “wanted to simplify the way our content teams operate.”
“Since joining Netflix in 2016, Bela has demonstrated her versatility and creativity—building out our unscripted team and helping to take our local language slate, which is increasingly important for our members, to the next level,” Sarandos said in a memo.
“These kinds of changes are never easy, and I am enormously grateful to Cindy Holland for everything she has done over the last 18 years at Netflix,” Sarandos said.
Holland said in a statement she “loved every moment” at the company.