Hopster’s founder and CEO is departing, and the UK-based SVOD has promoted two of its own to jointly run the company.
Miki Chojnacka and Tyrell Ellis will take charge as co-CEOs.
Chojnacka has served as chief creative content officer since 2015. In her new role, she will continue to oversee Hopster’s brand, content and creative strategy, and will also look to grow its original content, partnerships and global awareness. Chojnacka previously held senior executive roles in content, creative and strategy at MTV Networks, Viacom and Pearson.
Ellis, meanwhile, joined Hopster as CFO this past May after holding senior management titles at various tech companies including AOL, goviral and Mobvista. As co-CEO of Hopster, he will be tasked with managing investor relations, as well as overseeing operational and financial strategy.
Nick Walters, who founded the BAFTA-nominated preschool SVOD service in 2013, will step down on September 6, 2020, but will stay on to consult for Hopster as a board advisor.
“After eight years with Hopster and with a great management team in place, I felt it was time to move on and seek new challenges,” Walters said in a statement to Kidscreen.
Under Walters’ watch, Hopster grew from a small app to a global platform available in more than 100 countries and eight languages. In 2017, he helped launch Hopster Studios Productions, which expanded the company into original animated TV shows (Two Minute Tales), songs and games for the first time. To date, the app has generated more than 3.5 million downloads and amassed more than half a million subscribers worldwide.
Prior to Hopster, Walters worked at Viacom International Media Networks in a number of roles, including head of strategy and business development for emerging markets and general manager for Russia and CIS.
The senior management re-org comes after edtech company Sandbox & Co. bought a majority stake in Hopster last November.