India American to head Netflix’s global division

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-

Netflix has announced an Indian American as its head of a new global television division, giving one executive oversight over all shows at the world’s largest TV network.

Bela Bajaria, former vice president of local language originals, is also the winner of the Miss India Los Angeles, and Miss India USA crowns in 1991.

Bajaria, whose parents moved to Los Angeles from London when she was 8, has been quoted as saying she had entered the beauty pageants to “discover Indian culture on her own.”

She was formerly president at Universal TV, joined Netflix in 2016 and was promoted over 18-year veteran Cindy Holland, who will be leaving next month. Bajaria will now be in charge of English and local-language original series, both scripted and unscripted. Scott Stuber has a similar job overseeing movies all over the world.

Co-Chief Executive Officer Ted Sarandos is reconfiguring leadership at the company’s entertainment operations following his own promotion in July to sharing the top spot with co-CEO Reed Hastings. As the company looks beyond the U.S. for most of its new customers, Sarandos elevated Bajaria to the new spot instead of Holland, who has been more focused on the U.S.

“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 an emailed statement.

Bajaria received a lot of congratulatory from her fellow community members including Mindy Kaling, who tweeted:

Bela was the champion of #themindyproject and it was her idea to take it to @Hulu. Later she was part of the team at @Netflix to ask me to do a show about an Indian teen, which became #NeverHaveIEver. Congrats to her – I’m so impressed by her success and proud of my friend.

@mindykaling

Holland played a critical role in the company’s transition from licensing other companies’ shows to making its own, including “House of Cards,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Stranger Things” and many more. She had also been one of Ted Sarandos’s top lieutenants.