Jan Hendrik Smeenge has been promoted to Zodiak Nederland CEO following the exit of Peter Lubbers, who is leaving for a new job as director of television at SBS Broadcasting.
Lubbers replaces replacing Remko van Westerloo following what local press is describing as a “mutual consultation” with SBS owners Talpa Media and Sanoma.
Van Westerloo had presided over a three-year period at SBS’s Dutch channel bouquet, which comprises SBS6, Veronica and SBS9. During that period ratings have been mixed, though SBS6 scored a massive hit with Talpa’s social experiment format Utopia.
Peter de Mönnink, CEO of SBS and Sanoma, praised van Westerloo for performing well in “extremely competitive conditions” and taking the SBS programming division “to the next level”, according to a statement issued locally.
Lubbers’ appointment comes just a month after SBS named Luc Peters as COO. Discovery Communications has been weighing a deal to buy SBS, which Sanoma and Talpa acquired in 2011 from ProSiebenSat.1.
Lubbers joined Zodiak last March from Fox International Channels Netherlands to replace Roy Aalderink, who moved to become CEO of Strix Holland. Smeenge had joined to replace Tatiana Lagewaard, who also joined Strix.
Zodiak Nederland rebranded from Palm Plus in January 2013. It produces show such as Fort Boyard and Junior Masterchef in the Netherlands.
Smeenge is currently head of development, having joined last year from Eyeworks Nederland last July. In the new post he will report to group CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin and Zodiak’s CEO for the UK, Belgium and Netherlands, Rod Henwood.