Endemol U.K. has made two senior management promotions, moving Laurence Jones–currently managing director of the company’s entertainment production arm, Initial–to commercial director of Endemol U.K. and appointing Initial’s current creative director Nick Samwell-Smith to the managing director role.
Jones has been managing director of Initial since 2002 during which time he oversaw a period of sustained growth at the company. Most recently he was instrumental in the commercial relationship with Channel 5 for “Big Brother,” which has included a succession of brand partnerships and product placement deals, as well as the company’s digital media partnership with The Rolling Stones.
In his new role as commercial director Jones will focus on growing Endemol U.K.’s off-screen revenues across all platforms.
Samwell-Smith joined Initial in 1997 and worked on a wide range of shows, including “Big Brother” and “Fame Academy” before being promoted to creative director in 2006. He also co-created and executive produced “The Match.”
In his new position as managing director of Initial, Samwell-Smith will be responsible for expanding the company’s entertainment output, creating new formats for both the U.K. and international markets and continuing to develop existing hits.
“Laurence and Nick have played a central part in the success of Endemol U.K.'s business for many years,” says Lucas Church, chief executive officer, Endemol U.K., to whom both executives will report. “They couldn't be better qualified for these leading positions in the company, and I’m delighted they’ve accepted the challenge of helping steer the commercial and creative growth of the business."