Sky drama chief Anne Mensah is leaving the broadcaster to head UK scripted productions at Netflix.
As vice-president, content, Mensah will become the SVOD platform’s point-person in the UK for high-profile scripted series, reporting to vice president of original content, Cindy Holland.
Mensah’s appointment ends a lengthy period of speculation about the role.
It is thought Netflix first approached Mensah earlier in the year and that her passion for her role at Sky meant she required some convincing to make the move.
“Throughout her career, Anne has celebrated creative freedom, with deep passion for finding and nurturing storytelling you can’t find anywhere else,” said Holland.
“The UK has some of the best television in the world and our members love it, both in the UK and around the globe. I’m delighted that Anne is joining our team to lead our continued commitment to and investment in UK talent and programming.”
Netflix has demonstrated increasing appetite to work with the UK’s best-in-class drama producers and Mensah represents arguably its most important hire so far. She follows senior British talent including Kate Townsend and Lucy Leveugle to the US business.
The streaming service opened a UK office in April when it sent Los Angeles-based Diego Buñuel to head up its factual output.
Mensah has worked at Sky for seven years and was responsible for scripted series including Save Me, Patrick Melrose, Fortitude and Discovery Of Witches.
She will remain at the broadcaster in a consultancy role for a period of time before joining Netflix in 2019.
Cameron Roach, who joined Sky in 2013 as Mensah’s second-in-command and also heads Sky Studios, will take over her role in an acting capacity.
He takes charge of a team of commissioning editors including Liz Lewin, Gabriel Silver, Serena Thompson and head of development Lindsay Salt.
In a note to staff, managing director of content Gary Davey said he was “enormously proud” of the development of Sky’s drama output under Mensah.
“Anne is respected by her peers across the creative community worldwide,” said Davey. “I am grateful for Anne’s vision and determination and I will miss our many conversations about telling great stories on TV. We all thank Anne for her important contribution to Sky’s original content journey and wish her well in her next adventures.”
Mensah added: “The last seven years at Sky have been some of the most inspirational and exciting of my working life. I’d particularly like to thank Gary Davey, Stephen van Rooyen and Jeremy Darroch for their unwavering support.”
Mensah joined Sky from BBC Scotland in 2011 as a replacement for Elaine Pyke.
This story originally appeared in Screen’s sister publication Broadcast and has been modified slightly.