EXCLUSIVE: Tendo Nagenda is leaving Netflix this week. He will leave on September 1, a development that stemmed from a move to simplify the structure of the film team. Under Global Films head Scott Stuber, Netflix has methodically streamlined its executive structure. There will now be one Studio Film team led by Kira Goldberg and Ori Marmur, whose upcoming films are: Slumberland, Heart of Stone and The murderer.
Nagenda was a fast-growing Disney executive who had spent more than eight years at the Mouse House when he was transferred by Stuber as one of his early major employees. Nagenda played a major role in Stuber’s shift from running a film studio whose inventory consisted largely of licensed/third-party films to one that developed projects in-house and secured star-driven packages and quickly turned them into big-budget films.
Netflix has been the most nominated studio at the Oscars for three years in a row, generating a film series far larger than any major rival studio. Given the recent rocky road the company has had in its stock price lately, that high number of annual productions is likely to shift towards a more selective strategy. I was told that Nagenda, who oversaw a team that made the gray man and Extraction was given the opportunity, among other things, to switch to a producing role. Instead, he chose to take other paths. But his departure is amicable.
When confirming Nagenda’s exit, Stuber said: “Tendo joined the company four years ago and helped build our studio film team, which made films like The harder they fall, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Old Guard, Da 5 Bloods and Rush. He was integral to our evolution from film acquiring and licensing to film making. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Nagenda said, “I am honored to have been a small part of a film team that has won Oscar nominations three years in a row, became the largest film producer in the world by any measure, led the industry through a pandemic, and becomes the standard bearer for representation and recording, both in front of and behind the camera. I wish Netflix the continued tenacity and guts to take the big swings and tell the big and beloved stories that need to be told. I intend to.”
Deadline got a copy of an internal memo that Nagenda just sent to Netflix colleagues. Here is:
It is with deep appreciation for the past four years and boundless optimism for the future of our company that I am stepping down from my position at Netflix. I came to Netflix guided by the belief that too many gripping and transformative stories have gone untold. I’ve worked with you to help storytellers tell those stories and others with authenticity, dignity, and heightened entertainment value, and share them with a global audience that only Netflix can reach.
To borrow from James Baldwin: “you [tell stories] to change the world … the world changes according to the way people see it, and if you change even a millimeter, the way people look at reality, you can change it.”
I am honored to have been a small part of a film team that has won Oscar nominations three years in a row, become the largest film producer in the world by any measure, led the industry through a pandemic and become the standard-bearer for display and recording both in front of and behind the camera. In that pursuit of inclusion, I am especially proud of my participation, with many courageous and selfless colleagues, in the creation of Strategy Bet #16: Big & Beloved Inclusive Content for all of Netflix Entertainment. Together, through this work, we have changed reality many millimeters and changed the world.
As the industry and the world continue to shift, I wish each of you the continued tenacity and daring to take the big swings and tell the great and beloved stories that need to be told. I’m planning to.
With thanks and best regards,