Online movie rental and streaming service LoveFilm has announced that Managing Director Jim Buckle will be stepping down from the company in March, taking up the reigns as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at online sports equipment retailer Wiggle from April.
The Amazon-owned company issued the following statement:
“Jim Buckle has announced his intention to step down as Managing Director of LoveFilm UK in March to pursue other opportunities.
Jim’s been with LoveFilm for seven years as CFO and latterly as MD and has made a huge contribution to building LoveFilm into Europe’s leading film and TV series subscription service. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
This announcement comes almost exactly a year since LoveFilm’s former head honcho Simon Calver jumped ship for Mothercare. When Calver announced he was moving on, he noted that Buckle would be a sound replacement given his history with the company, having directed LoveFilm’s commercial and financial operations since 2006. “He knows LoveFilm inside out,” said Calver, “and [he will] now lead the whole business. LoveFilm could not be in better hands and I wish Jim and the whole team tremendous success.”
Calver’s departure was soon followed by news that CTO Mike Blakemore was leaving to join Guardian’s digital development team, and having two senior departures in such a short period of time seemed a little suspicious. Was something going on behind the scenes with its parent company Amazon? Certainly, nothing major subsequently occurred to suggest this was the case, so it may have just been a coincidence.
However, with Buckle leaving so soon after taking up the role, this will set some tongues wagging again, regarding whether Amazon has something on the cards for LoveFilm, be it replacing the LoveFilm brand with ‘Amazon Film’, or something else. Or, perhaps, Buckle just wanted to move back in to a dedicated finance role, and Wiggle is certainly not the worst company to be doing so.
Meanwhile, LoveFilm has been racking up the content partnerships of late, inking a deal with NBCUniversal International TV Distribution to bring on-demand access to a slew of American TV shows, following a similar deal the previous year with a stronger focus on movies. Amazon acquired LoveFilm in early 2011.
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