Simon Waldman, long-time Director of Digital Strategy and Development at the Guardian Media Group is leaving to become group product director with Lovefilm, the pan-European home entertainment company. We understand it’s a new position and that Waldman will not be replaced at GMG, at least until the new CEO arrives to decide what to do next.
Lovefilm sells DVDs and movie download to over 1m active subscriber households across Europe,and is in a phase of expansion. It has VC backing from Index Ventures.
Waldman will take charge of the website, user interface and the “entire online customer journey” according to a Lovefilm statement.
You can perhaps see why Waldman has been lured over, aside from the financial issues of The Guardian, which is losing £100,000 a day in the recession. Lovefilm CEO Simon Calver says the site now has has 80 million ratings and 843 thousand member reviews, with users viewing 2 million trailer views a month. That means the site could well be on it’s way to creating a pretty major property in Europefor entertainment.
Waldman has been heading up digital projects at GMG for over a decade. He was Launch Editor in 1999 of guardian.co.uk and, in 2001, the first Director of Digital Publishing for Guardian News and Media, with overall responsibility for online strategy and revenue. He’s also recently been writing a book, “Creative Disruption: Why You Need to Shake Up Your Business for the Digital Age”, to be published by Financial Times Prentice Hall in September 2010, and is a non-executive director of Eniro, the leading Nordics directories business.
Update: He blogs about the move here.