The father of 'Big Brother' makes his exit at Endemol

Bazalgette goes as part of shake-up

Reality specialist Peter Bazalgette is stepping down as Endemol's chief creative officer and will not be replaced.

The move, announced Thursday by Endemol, comes as part of a wide-scale executive shake-up at the "Big Brother" creator, which was acquired for €2.6 billion ($3.7 billion) in the summer from Spanish telco giant Telefonica by a consortium that includes Media set, Goldman Sachs and Endemol co-founder John De Mol.

Effective Jan. 1, Endemol's management board will be run by CEO Aat Schouwenaar, COO Marco Bassetti and CFO Jan Peter Kerstens.

Another senior management change will see Michiel Buitelaar take the post of senior executive director of digital media and new business, replacing William Linders, who steps down at year's end. Buitelaar will be in charge of Endemol's group digital efforts, having held posts at cellular phone operators T-Mobile and Orange.

Bazalgette, who was responsible for a number of lifestyle entertainment shows including "Changing Rooms" and "Ready Steady Cook" in the '90s and launched the U.K. version of the reality hit "Big Brother," was appointed to Endemol's board as chief creative officer in January 2005.

During that time he also was chairman of Endemol U.K. He will be stepping down from both roles but will continue as an adviser to the board next year, the Netherlands-based company said.

"Having guided Endemol through an IPO and then a company sale, I have decided this is a good time to make a change of direction in my career," Bazalgette said. "But I'm not cutting the umbilical cord completely, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the company in 2008."
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