Baverstock and Newth step down at Kuju

Baverstock and Newth step down at Kuju
Michael French

By Michael French

April 7th 2010 at 9:00AM

Former MTV networks man Nigel Robbins gets CEO job as founders take non-exec roles

The industry has known for some time, but today Kuju's parent Catalis confirmed it - Ian Baverstock and Jonathan Newth are to step down at the long-running UK studio.

As they take non-exec roles, former MTV Networks man Nigel Robbins has been appointed as the firm's new CEO.

Kuju includes a range of studios - Zoë Mode, Vatra, Headstrong and Doublesix - which has slimmed down over recent months.

The business was originally founded in 1998, and eventually floated on the London Stock Exchange - but it was acquired by Catalis back in 2007. Its studios are best known for lucrative work for hire projects with the likes of Sony, Sega, and Nintendo - and the company recently expanded onto download platforms.

"Ian and Jonathan are consummate industry professionals and they have led the charge at Kuju magnificently for more than two decades," said chairman Dominic Wheatley, who confirmed in a statement that the two will still oversee some special projects at Kuju in the coming months.

"It's great for us that they will maintain that close connection, given their in depth knowledge and experience of the company they founded and the industry in which it operates."

But Robbins will have the day to day job as new boss for Kuju, and is set to keep growing its stable of studios and look at new opportunities. The firm said his 'new perspective', garnered during a lengthy tenure at MTV, will help the business grow.

He was previously president of MTV Networks Asia Pacific, overseeing over thirty MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1 branded TV, online and digital content services in the region. He also served as president of MTV Group Japan and SVP content and creative under MTV Networks International, launching the Network's operations in the likes of Australia, China, Korea, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

Wheatley commented: "Nigel has a wealth of creative and dynamic leadership experience within the realms of TV, digital media and online services. He brings fresh thinking to the group at a fascinating juncture within the worldwide digital entertainment industry."

Robbins added: "I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to build on Kuju's strong foundations and focus on doing what we do best. Our job is to create compelling quality content across all platforms and delivery channels, and that will continue to be the focus within each of our studios, ensuring that we are the first choice developer for our publishing partners."