Our senior team
CEO, FremantleMedia Group
Chief Executive Officer of the FremantleMedia Group, responsible for the performance, strategy and direction of the Group around the world.
Cecile Frot-Coutaz is Chief Executive Officer of the FremantleMedia Group, responsible for the performance, strategy and direction of the Group around the world. Soon after taking up the role in 2012 she restructured the business to prepare it for future growth, implementing a clear digital strategy and focussing investment in FremantleMedia’s pipeline, particularly in scripted programming. She has also sought to build and broaden FremantleMedia’s expertise through a series of strategic acquisitions and Talent partnerships, which include award-winning reality producer 495 Productions; Europe’s leading digital native talent network Divimove; best-in-class scripted makers of scripted content, Miso Film and Wildside, Corona TV, Fontaram and Naked Entertainment.
Prior to her promotion, Cecile was CEO of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA), a role she held since 2005. In this position she managed all business and operational matters, oversaw production and legal affairs and explored strategic growth opportunities for FMNA, which currently produces some of the most innovative and successful event entertainment on television, including American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The X Factor USA. She also served as Executive Producer on these phenomenally successful programmes.
Born and raised in France, Cecile earned her MBA from the prestigious INSEAD, Paris in 1994.
Following her recruitment to London by the Pearson Group, she developed successful business strategies for the company’s media holdings. When Pearson purchased the assets of Grundy Television, Cecile was named Corporate Strategy Executive for the newly created Pearson Television and then spearheaded the subsequent acquisition and integration of All-American Fremantle into The Pearson Television Group. In the process, she played a key role in transforming a local enterprise into one of the largest independent production companies in the world.
After a short stint in San Francisco creating online and interactive strategies for Pearson Television, Cecile joined the North American headquarters of the newly re-branded FremantleMedia in Los Angeles, where she served as Executive Vice President, Commercial and Operations until her promotion to COO of Production in 2002, and CEO in 2005.
COO and CEO Emerging Markets, FremantleMedia
FremantleMedia’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Markets, responsible for the group’s operations and investments and oversees FremantleMedia’s growth, particularly in the emerging markets.
Sangeeta Desai is FremantleMedia’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Markets. As COO, she is responsible for the group’s operations across the 31 territories in which Fremantle operates and oversees all investment activity across the group. Included in her remit are Strategy & M&A and central group functions. In early 2015, Sangeeta expanded her role to also become CEO of Emerging Markets with the responsibility of expanding FremantleMedia’s global presence through organic growth and strategic M&A, particularly in the emerging markets of Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Sangeeta previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer at HIT Entertainment where she managed the company’s day-to-day operations, including business development and global brand management, and had global responsibility for all key revenue functions of the company including TV, brands, consumer products, DVD, and live events/attractions. She also managed offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Prior to joining HIT Entertainment, she was a Principal at Apax Partners, a private equity firm, where she had responsibility for sourcing, evaluating and executing on investments, working with management teams in the media sector globally, with a particular focus on the entertainment and TV production sub-sectors. She has also held positions in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and with J.P. Morgan.
Sangeeta has a BS with distinction from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA with Honours from the Wharton School of Business.
CFO, FremantleMedia Group
Chief Financial Officer of FremantleMedia Group, responsible for financial reporting and controlling for the Group as well as corporate financial strategy and risk management.
Andrew Bott is Chief Financial Officer of FremantleMedia Group, responsible for financial reporting and controlling for the Group as well as corporate financial strategy and risk management. Andrew provides finance expertise and support for all M&A activity and also leads the Group Finance team, working closely with the Territory Heads of Finance around the world. He is the main contact for financial teams within FremantleMedia’s parent companies RTL Group and Bertelsmann.
Based in London, Andrew sits on the FremantleMedia Operating Board and reports to CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz.
Prior to FremantleMedia, Andrew was CFO for BBC Worldwide where he was responsible for financial reporting, planning & analysis, treasury, tax and risk management activities and corporate financial strategy. Other roles at the BBC included CFO for BBC Worldwide Americas, VP Finance BBCW and Director of Finance BBCW; before that Andrew held positions at Pearson and Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Andrew has a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford.
Director HR, FremantleMedia Group
Director of Human Resources, responsible for setting HR function strategy and ensuring its effective operation and execution throughout the FremantleMedia Group.
Nicky Gray is Director of Human Resources, FremantleMedia Group. She has held the role since 2002 and is responsible for setting HR function strategy and ensuring its effective operation and execution throughout the FremantleMedia Group.
A key part of Nicky’s role is to ensure the company attracts and retains talent by ensuring that it has the correct reward and development processes in place.
Prior to joining FremantleMedia, Nicky held senior HR positions for a variety of companies including Express Newspapers, Centrica Plc and Tate & Lyle Plc. During her time as Director of HR at Express Newspapers, Nicky ran the HR service for 1,000 employees and was a group board member.
Director of Global Entertainment, FremantleMedia
Director of Global Entertainment at FremantleMedia, responsible for FremantleMedia’s entertainment format pipeline, the development of new entertainment shows across the FremantleMedia Group, as well as the acquisition of new titles from third parties.
Rob Clark is Director of Global Entertainment at FremantleMedia. He is responsible for FremantleMedia’s entertainment format pipeline, which includes the development of new entertainment shows across the FremantleMedia Group, as well as the acquisition of new titles from third parties. Rob also oversees the global rollout of these shows through the business’ extensive international network of production offices.
Rob was previously Director of Global Entertainment Development and prior to that, President of Worldwide Entertainment at FremantleMedia, having joined the business in 2003. He has managed the successful global roll out of a number of FremantleMedia’s most popular entertainment titles including Idols, Got Talent, The X Factor, The Farmer Wants a Wife, The Apprentice, Take Me Out, Project Runways, The Apprentice, Hole in the Wall, Let’s Dance and Thank God You’re Here. Rob also helped in the re-launch of a number of popular game shows including Family Feud, Password and Price is Right.
He is a highly experienced executive producer, programme creator and writer across the primetime, entertainment, reality and comedy genres, with extensive experience in the UK television industry. He has been Head of Entertainment for Scottish Media Group (SMG) and Princess Productions and Executive and Senior Producer for London Weekend Television (LWT), Carlton, HatTrick and Celador, with roles at Granada, Ginger and Central TV, too. In addition to the global hits cited above, Rob has worked on many iconic and leading series during his career, which include Don’t Try This At Home; Surprise, Surprise; Popstars; Man O Man; The Likely Lads; Wheel of Fortune; Big Talent Show; Supermarket Sweep; Blind Date and Beadles About. He also co-wrote and created the sitcom Barbara.
Director of Global Drama, FremantleMedia
As the Director of Global Drama, Sarah seeks to invest and bring the very best drama to the international marketplace. She is responsible for the acquisition of all scripted content, from in-house producers and third party drama partners, through development investment, distribution deals and co-production partnerships.
Sarah also works with in-house producers, indie producers, writers, directors and owners of IP, to create and develop drama and comedy that will rate in its domestic market as well as providing an on-going revenue stream through commercial exploitation internationally, whether tape sales, digital activity or scripted remakes.
Before joining FremantleMedia, Sarah worked at BBC Worldwide as Creative Director for Drama /Head of Indie Drama and as Director of Drama, Comedy and Childrens, collaborating with independent producers to finance, distribute and export the best of British fiction and comedy around the world including Sherlock, Misfits, Call the Midwife, Wallander Gavin and Stacey, Friday Night Dinner and The Royle Family.
Sarah began her career at Yorkshire Television as a researcher, producer and Head of Development, and as Director of Enterprises at Yorkshire Tyne Tees she oversaw the worldwide exploitation of shows such as Heartbeat, Darling Buds of May, Emmerdale and The Tube. She set up the international operations for The Family Channel (now ABC Family) while in the US and returned to the UK as Creative Director for Commercial Ventures, brand managing programming ranging from Emmerdale to Popstars. She joined BBC Worldwide‘s joint venture DVD arm – 2Entertain – as Head of Independents, before moving to the Indie Unit at BBCW in 2007.
CEO, Digital & Branded Entertainment, FremantleMedia
Chief Executive Officer of Digital & Branded Entertainment at FremantleMedia, responsible for leading the company’s digital and branded entertainment strategy around the world.
Keith Hindle is Chief Executive Officer of Digital & Branded Entertainment at FremantleMedia. He is responsible for leading the company’s digital and branded entertainment strategy around the world.
The Digital & Branded Entertainment team has strategic oversight of the company’s growing digital business worldwide including original digital content, social media, second screen, and YouTube activity, as well as its branded entertainment business which has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
Keith is one of the industry’s foremost digital strategists: most recently he negotiated a JV with Vice Media, headed up the acquisition of Europe’s #1 MCN Divimove, and oversaw the launch of local digital studios including Tiny Riot! in LA and Shotglass Media in London. Keith works closely with the digital and sponsorship teams in FremantleMedia’s local territories and sits on the operating boards of Divimove, FremantleMedia’s gaming company Ludia, and the #1 fashion and beauty MCN StyleHaul, which is owned by parent company RTL Group.
Keith was formerly CEO Americas at FremantleMedia’s Enterprises arm. In this role, he developed and implemented a strategy for the company’s Americas businesses, which included operations in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean. Keith increased FremantleMedia’s position as a highly creative and successful rights exploitation company and oversaw distribution, home entertainment, brand integration, consumer products, digital and live events. He also led the major multi-platform sponsorship deals for FremantleMedia programmes including Ford, Coke and AT&T for American Idol, and Pepsi and Verizon for The X Factor. Prior to this, he worked at FremantleMedia in London and Germany where he managed international M&A activity; he has also held positions at Time Warner, Unilever and Shell Oil.
CEO, UFA Group
Co-CEO of UFA Group, overseeing the creation and production of a diverse programme portfolio and digital media content in Germany which operate under the UFA umbrella.
Nico Hofmann is Co-Chief Executive Officer of UFA Group. Together with Wolf Bauer, he oversees the creation and production of a diverse programme portfolio in Germany which ranges from daily dramas (Good Times, Bad Times) and entertainment shows (German Idols) to successful feature films and transmedia content. Three production units operate under the UFA umbrella: UFA FICTION, UFA SERIAL DRAMA, and UFA SHOW & FACTUAL. In addition, UFA LAB, which is a laboratory for digital media content and a platform for the digital entertainment industry.
Nico Hofmann completed his studies at the University of Television and Film in Munich with his award-winning thesis film Land of Their Fathers, Land of Their Sons (1987). In 1998, he set up with Wolf Bauer teamWorx (today UFA FICTION) which has gone on to become one of Germany’s most successful production companies producing award winning productions including The Tunnel, Dresden, Storm Tide, Airlift, March of Millions, Generation War and Naked Among Wolves & Bornholmer Street.
As a producer and a director, Hofmann is known for telling exceptional stories with an epic and cinematic feel. Many of his productions have achieved record ratings and international success. He has received many honours for his work including an International Emmy for Generation War. Under his stewardship, UFA produced Deutschland ’83 which was the first German-language drama to air on a major US Network. The series launched to huge critical acclaim on Sundance TV in June 2015. He has also produced cinematic releases including Hanni & Nanni, Jesus Loves Me, and, in collaboration with Wolf Bauer, The Physician – the most successful film in German speaking territories in 2014.
Hofmann, committed to developing young talent in film and television, regularly lectures at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg. In 2000, he and Bernd Eichinger established the German newcomer award FIRST STEPS which has become the most important distinction for young filmmakers today.
CEO, FremantleMedia International
Chief Executive Officer, FremantleMedia International (FMI), responsible for the global distribution of FremantleMedia’s finished programming and managing the sales and acquisitions teams across the US, UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia.
Jens Richter is Chief Executive Officer, FremantleMedia International (FMI). He oversees the global distribution of FremantleMedia’s finished programming and home entertainment catalogue, manage the sales and acquisitions teams across the US, UK, EMEA, Asia and Australia and to drive FMI’s content acquisition strategy.
Since joining the business, Richter has built and strengthened FMI’s slate, particularly in drama, and has driven activity in the co-financing and co-production space. He oversaw the deal for US network, Sundance, to become co-production partner for UFA Fiction’s Deutschland ’83, which doubled the slot on the channel, and secured the global roll out of FremantleMedia North America’s first scripted title The Returned, a co-production with A&E Studios, through an international distribution deal with Netflix.
Richter joined the business from Red Arrow where he was Group Director and MD of Red Arrow Entertainment Group (RAEG). He was instrumental in building RAEG into a global production and distribution group, packaging, co-financing and facilitating Red Arrow’s UK and US scripted slate for the international market, including the global rollout of formats The Taste and Off Their Rockers, which became hits on US networks ABC and NBC respectively. Richter was also MD of Red Arrow International (RAI), a business he built from scratch and turned into an international distribution house. He was responsible for packaging and co-financing drama series, overall representation deals and extended the business into the digital space.
Prior this, Richter served as Managing Director for Beta Film, directing all sales, marketing and content acquisition as well as deficit financing and co-financing. He joined the business from Prisma Sports & Media where he was Senior Vice President for between 1999 and 2000. Based in London, Richter created new programming concepts around emerging digital infrastructures and a new digital distribution business for sports and sports-related content.
Jens is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
CEO, FremantleMedia North America
Co-Chief Executive Officer of FremantleMedia North America, responsible for the region’s overall management and business performance, overseeing the development, production and business operations of over 600 hours of network, cable and syndicated programming.
Jennifer Mullin is Chief Executive Officer of FremantleMedia North America (FMNA). Together with Craig Cegielski, she is responsible for FMNA’s overall management and business performance, overseeing the development, production and business operations of over 600 hours of network, cable and syndicated programming.
Mullin, formerly EVP, Current Programming, FMNA, has been at the helm of FMNA’s unscripted programming for nearly ten years, overseeing the company’s extensive slate. During this time, she has significantly grown FMNA’s presence in the game show and reality competition genres. Overseeing the game show franchises, The Price Is Right, Family Feud and Let’s Make A Deal, Mullin and her team have taken each of the series to record-breaking ratings highs across daytime and syndication. Building FMNA’s syndication pipeline, Mullin led the launch of the company’s newest entry, Celebrity Name Game. The fast-paced and funny game show was a success out of the gate, coming in as the second highest-rated new syndicated program in 2014 and subsequently renewed for a second season. The inaugural season also garnered an Emmy® for Craig Ferguson as Outstanding Game Show Host at the 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards.
Mullin has a long history in network primetime, overseeing titles such as Million Dollar Password, American Inventor and Hole in Wall. In 2013 Mullin launched the first-of-its-kind reality competition, The Great Christmas Light Fight. The show was a success for ABC, landing the network’s best December performance in its time slot for the last five years. The format has now become a staple on ABC, with a third season coming later this year. Mullin is also bringing Celebrity Family Feud to ABC this summer, a primetime celebrity version of one of television’s most popular and enduring game show formats, Family Feud.
Prior to joining FMNA in 2005, Mullin worked as an Exec Producer at companies such as Telepictures and Universal. She was the Supervising Producer on the FOX series Married By America. She also was the Supervising Producer on the syndicated series Rendez-View and Real TV for Paramount Domestic TV. In addition, she served as the Executive in Charge of Production for the long-running syndicated hit, A Current Affair.
Group Director of Communications
Group Director of Communications, responsible for leading the company’s corporate affairs, public policy, media relations, internal communications, and corporate responsibility activities around the world.
Non-Executive Chairman, FremantleMedia UK
Non-Executive Chairman, FremantleMedia UK (FMUK). He sits on the FremantleMedia Operating Board and advises on a range of matters in the UK and globally.
As Non-Executive Chairman FremantleMedia UK (FMUK) David Liddiment sits on the FremantleMedia Operating Board and advises on a range of matters in the UK and globally. He also supports and advises interim CEO FMUK, Richard Holloway, as well as the Managing Directors of FMUK labels – Boundless, Euston Films, Newman Street, Retort, Shotglass Media, Talkback and Thames – and the FMUK Management Team to help grow and expand the genres and commercial opportunities for the UK business.
A highly experienced creative leader with a long career in the media, he was most recently co-founder and Creative Director of the independent production company All3Media and a BBC trustee from 2006 to 2014. He was formerly Director of Programmes and Channels at ITV (1997–2002), where commissioning highlights include Pop Idol, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Sally Wainwright’s At Home with the Braithwaites, Kay Mellor’s Fat Friends and Mike Bullen’s Cold Feet.
He began his TV career at Granada Television (1975-1993) where he became Executive Producer of Coronation Street (1987–91), co-devised This Morning and brought Stars in their Eyes, You’ve been Framed and Jimmy McGovern’s Cracker to ITV. In 2003, Liddiment was presented with the Royal Television Society’s Gold Medal for outstanding services to television. In addition to his TV work, David set up and ran the Old Vic Theatre Company with Kevin Spacey (2003-2007) and is currently Chairman of the acclaimed contemporary art gallery The Hepworth Wakefield (2010- ).