Cindy Holland, Netflix’s vp of original content who has been with the streaming giant for nearly two decades, will leave the company in October in a major shakeup, as newly appointed co-CEO Ted Sarandos moves to streamline the company’s television operations.
As part of the restructure, Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s vp of local language originals, is being elevated to vice president of global TV, where she will oversee all television projects for the streaming giant, including English and local language originals, scripted and unscripted shows and limited series.
“Since becoming co-CEO, I’ve wanted to simplify the way our content teams operate—with one global film team led by Scott Stuber and one for TV, which will now be led by Bela Bajaria,” Sarandos said in a statement. “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. I can’t wait to see what Bela and the TV team achieve in the years to come.”
With the streamlined team under Bajaria as the lead of all global TV, that left no role for Holland—Adweek’s reigning TV Creator of the Year—prompting her departure next month.
Bajaria, the former president of Universal TV, has been leading the charge at some of Netflix’s crucial growth areas: local-language original programming, which has helped Netflix hit 193 million global subscribers. Before that, the longtime television exec worked on the unscripted side of the streamer, ushering in the reboot of Queer Eye that helped set Netflix’s plans for bigger unscripted content offerings.
Other credits include bringing the Lifetime series You to Netflix, where it found a massive new audience, and developing comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for the streamer.
The shift to put Netflix’s originals in Bajaria’s hands underscores the growing importance of local language originals and unscripted programming in Netflix’s future plans, and it also marks the departure of one of the most seasoned television veterans at Netflix.
Holland joined the company when it was in its DVD-by-mail days in 2002, helping to transform the service as it ventured into originals with major hits like Orange is the New Black that helped put Netflix on the map as the original programming powerhouse it has since become.
“We certainly couldn’t have imagined that this would be the journey we were on when we started with original content,” Holland told Adweek last year. “It’s just really an exciting time.”
In the statement, Sarandos said he was “enormously grateful” to Holland for her years at the company.
“Cindy’s been a great champion of creators and the power that comes from seeing more perspectives reflected on screen—launching enduring dramas like Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and The Crown,” Sarandos said. “Most important of all she’s been a fabulous colleague. We wish her all the best for the future.”
In a statement, Holland said her work on originals has been a “real joy.”
“From transitioning the company out of DVDs into streaming, to launching our first slate of original series and documentaries, I’ve loved every moment,” Holland said. “I am proud of the impact and the diversity of the stories we’ve brought to audiences around the world, and to have worked with some of the most inspiring creators and executives in our business.”