Amazon Studios Europe Boss Georgia Brown Steps Down After Five Years (EXCLUSIVE)

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Georgia Brown, head of Amazon Studios in Europe, is stepping down after five years in the role, Variety can reveal.

The executive’s last day at the business is Wednesday (Aug. 31), though her departure is understood to have been in the works for some time. Brown is believed to be moving on to another opportunity, though it’s not yet clear what or where her new role will be.

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Brown has been a strong and prominent ambassador for Amazon Studios in Europe, and was the first executive hired to lead originals for the continent. In the 2016 to 2018 period, when a number of the global streaming services were first setting up shop internationally and kept their executives largely out of view, Brown was always front and center for Amazon, keen to discuss her local-first strategy.

News of her departure may come as a surprise to some in the U.K. who saw Brown take part in an Amazon Studios session at the Edinburgh TV Festival just last week, flanked by senior members of her U.K. team.

European originals gathered pace throughout Brown’s tenure, especially out of the U.K., which has enjoyed hit shows such as “The Grand Tour,” “Clarkson’s Farm” and the drama “Good Omens.” Forthcoming British originals include “Fifteen-Love” and the highly anticipated “The Power” and “Jungle.”

Elsewhere in Europe, Brown’s team commissioned French documentary “The Pogmentary” and Melanie Laurent’s feature film “Le Bal des folles,” Italy’s “Bang Bang Baby” and Germany’s “We Children from Bahnhof Zoo.”

Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke and head of international James Farrell shared the news with staff on Wednesday in an internal memo, seen by Variety.

“Since joining Amazon in 2017 Georgia has grown the team from a single person to now a fantastic organization poised for continued growth in seven different country offices spread across the continent,” they wrote.

“While the volume of local original titles launching each year continues to increase, under Georgia’s guidance the team has remained steadfast in our commitment to a curated approach, where we are working hand-in-hand with our European producing partners on every project to create the highest quality content and maintaining the strongest relationships with the production community and talent across the region. Quite an accomplishment to say the least,” Salke and Farrell continued.

The executives said they’ve been working with Brown to “transition her workload” ahead of her exit.

Variety understands that the European Amazon Studios role will remain in place, and that a search for Brown’s replacement is currently underway. Wider restructuring across the international team isn’t expected.

Over the years, Brown has built up a strong team of commissioners, including U.K. head of originals Dan Grabiner and unscripted development executive Fozia Khan; head of French originals Thomas Dubois; and head of German originals Philip Pratt, among others.

Brown’s team of commissioners will report into Farrell, who is based in Los Angeles, on an interim basis.

In a heartfelt note to staff, Brown said: “To the EU Originals team: you are outstanding. The best in the business. Your commitment and drive to raise the bar has delivered exceptional, award winning and genre defining series and movies in the last 5 years, and will continue to do so for many more.”

“The impact of the content and talent you continue to deliver for our customers is not just felt across Europe but around the world and I cannot wait for more of our incredible shows to deliver over the coming months. These titles simply wouldn’t be what they are without your attention to detail, high ambition and dedication so I want to thank you all for such outstanding work,” Brown wrote.

Read Salke and Farrell’s full note to staff below, as well as Brown’s message:

Hello Colleagues,

Today, Jen and I would like to share the news that after more than 5 years of leading our originals teams in Europe, Georgia Brown has decided to pursue an outside opportunity.

Since joining Amazon in 2017 Georgia has grown the team from a single person to now a fantastic organization poised for continued growth in 7 different country offices spread across the continent. The Europe team is developing, producing and launching a high cadence of hugely successful and impactful local originals which are delighting Prime Video members across the region, in more countries than ever. While the volume of local original titles launching each year continues to increase, under Georgia’s guidance the team has remained steadfast in our commitment to a curated approach, where we are working hand-in-hand with our European producing partners on every project to create the highest quality content and maintaining the strongest relationships with the production community and talent across the region. Quite an accomplishment to say the least.

We have been working closely with Georgia for some time to transition her workload before she leaves today. While the search for her successor gets underway, and until one is found, Georgia’s directs will report into James on an interim basis.

We are sure Georgia will be successful in her next endeavor, and please join us in wishing her continued success.

-James and Jen

Brown’s message is below:

Thank you so much for your kind words Jen and James. Leaving a role and a team after five amazing years comes with obvious sadness, but in departing my overwhelming emotion is one of excitement for the future of the European originals team and the broader Prime Video business.

To the EU Originals team: you are outstanding. The best in the business. Your commitment and drive to raise the bar has delivered exceptional, award winning and genre defining series and movies in the last 5 years, and will continue to do so for many more. The impact of the content and talent you continue to deliver for our customers is not just felt across Europe but around the world and I cannot wait for more of our incredible shows to deliver over the coming months. These titles simply wouldn’t be what they are without your attention to detail, high ambition and dedication so I want to thank you all for such outstanding work.

I also want to say a huge thank you to the wider business teams and colleagues across the globe for their unwavering support for our local originals program. It takes an army! The care, love, passion and attention given to our series and movies from teams across the wider Studios and Prime Video business has been fundamental to the success we’ve achieved, and will continue to achieve in the future. With your continued energy and passion, I’m sure that Prime Video’s future will continue to be one of great success.

In addition to the amazing content we’ve produced, I also want to thank you all for the support you’ve given in our work to supporting the creative communities across Europe. Our contribution has helped shape and future proof the industry, a ripple effect we will feel for years, if not decades to come. From ‘Prime Video Pathway’ – our £10 million training initiative designed to open up access to jobs in the TV and film industry across the UK – to our $6 million donation to support the European production community through COVID. I feel very privileged and proud to have worked for a company that saw the value in supporting and striving for an inclusive industry, and is truly a force for good within the European production community.

I wish you all the very best. Thank you and much love to you all,

Georgia

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