Global production giant Fremantle continues to bolster its executive ranks, on Tuesday naming former Paramount Global exec Jaime Ondarza its new CEO of Southern Europe and promoting Georgette Schlick, currently head of Fremantle Netherlands and Belgium, to Northern Europe CEO.
In their newly-created positions both will report directly to Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle Group COO and CEO Continental Europe.
The moves come just days after Fremantle promoted Christian Vesper to the new post of CEO Global Drama and can be seen as part of the group’s aggressive global growth strategy as it moves to expand its position as one of the world’s leading television and film producers.
Ondarza will be based in Rome and oversee Fremantle’s production businesses in France, Israel, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Schlick will be based in Amsterdam and oversee Fremantle operations across the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordics and Poland. The Scandinavian-based This Is Nice production companies, which Fremantle acquired in 2021, will continue to be overseen by CEO Morten Mogensen, who will report to Schlick.
Under Scrosati, Fremantle has been rapidly growing its production operations, largely through acquisitions of regional production entities. Fremantle’s German parent company RTL Group has given its production division the ambitious target of increasing full-year revenue to €3 billion ($3.2 billion) by 2025. Last year, Fremantle booked a record €1.92 billion ($2 billion) in revenues. Much of this growth will come through acquisitions and Fremantle has been gobbling up companies at a rapid pace, snatching up the likes of Ireland’s Element Pictures (Normal People, The Eternal Daughter), Fabel (Bosch), Lux Vide (Leonardo), Passenger (This England) and many others.
“Through acquisitions and organic growth, Fremantle today is bigger and stronger than ever,” said Scrosati. “We have carefully designed this new structure to best support our regional CEOs across Europe. Georgette and Jaime are the perfect choices to manage these key roles and future-proof our rapid business expansion.”
Fremantle, part of Bertelsmann-owned RTL Group, is betting the rapid growth of streaming platforms worldwide will fuel a new demand for high-quality content that the streamers will be unable to meet on their own, opening up an opportunity for independent production companies with a global reach.