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Netflix Lures Larry Tanz, CEO of Michael Eisner’s Digital Studio (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix has hired Larry Tanz, CEO of Vuguru, the digital studio owned by former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner.

The streaming service confirmed he will join as VP of content acquisition for Europe later this year, based in Los Angeles.

“Larry has done an incredible job turning Vuguru into a leading independent studio with titles in distribution worldwide,” said Eisner in a statement provided via a rep for Vuguru. “We know Netflix will benefit greatly from Larry’s leadership and expert knowledge of the space and wish him our very best.”

After five years at Vuguru, Tanz is leaving for a job that will presumably have him focused on building up content libraries on the continent where Netflix began a major expansion in September, extending its footprint into major  markets including France and Germany. Netflix declined to elaborate on what his responsibilities will be in his new position, and Tanz declined comment.

Tanz was bumped up to CEO after serving as president of the digital-minded independent studio, launched by Michael Eisner’s Tornante Co. with financial backing from Rogers Media, for the first three years of its existence. He’s grown Vuguru into a major supplier of cross-platform scripted content for the likes of Yahoo, Hulu and AOL, in addition to numerous international buyers.

But over the past year Vuguru seems to have shifted focus to longer-form content in response to the growing market for full-length episodic series in the subscription VOD sector. Tornante itself has tapped that market, supplying animated series “Bojack Horseman” to Netflix, which recently renewed the comedy for another season.

It’s unclear what if any change will occur at Vuguru in the wake of Tanz’s departure, though the company is expected to continue operating. A Vuguru rep declined comment on whether a successor will be named.

Vuguru’s last major hire was former Comedy Central programmer Lauren Corrao, who joined as chief creative officer last November.

Prior to Vuguru, Tanz was founder of multiplatform studio Agility Studios. He’s served in past stints as CEO of LivePlanet, the production company led by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, where he produced the Bravo/HBO series “Project Greenlight.”

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