Hopster Announces Departure Of Founder And CEO Nick Walters


By Jonathan Easton

High-profile early learning streaming service Hopster has announced that its founder and CEO Nick Walters will be stepping down at the beginning of September.

The company said that Walters began transitioning to an advisory role at the beginning of June and that he will officially vacate the position on September 6.

Stepping in to fill the gap of the man who started Hopster in 2013 will be chief creative and content officer Miki Chojnacka and CFO Tyrell Ellis as co-CEOs.

Chojnacka has 20 years in the industry, having previously held roles in creative and strategy at MTV Networks, Viacom and Pearson. She has been chief creative content officer at Hopster for five years.

Ellis meanwhile only joined Hopster as chief financial officer in May of this year and is handed an almost-immediate promotion. He spent over 10 years in finance and held senior positions at the likes of Aol, Game Analytics and goviral.

Chairman of Hopster and CEO of Sandbox (Sandbox became a majority shareholder of Hopster in November 2019), Bhav Singh said “ I am very sad to see Nick leave. He has created a global, notable, multi-award winning educational product to help children learn that is loved by millions of families around the world. We wish Nick all the best for the future and are delighted to welcome Miki Chojnacka and Tyrell Ellis as co-CEOs to continue building the Hopster brand.”

Chojnacka said: “In the last seven years, Nick has developed Hopster into an award-winning global brand with an incredible unique selling proposition that has never been more needed or relevant than it is today. I am immensely excited to be able to continue his work alongside Tyrell to grow the company and take Hopster to its next level.”

Ellis said: “Nick has created an incredible business and though we are sad to see him leave, both Miki and I strongly believe that we have the right team and product in place to build on our momentum and scale the business further in the years to come. By expanding our library of engaging content and focusing on progressive learning principles we feel we are well positioned to establish Hopster as the brand of choice for millennial parents to help their kids learn through the stories they love.”

Walters founded Hopster in 2013 and it has since developed into a global SVOD platform which is active in over 100 countries in eight languages. It creates preschool TV shows and interactive learning content, and has won a number of awards from the likes of Apple and Kidscreen.

The outgoing CEO said: “While sad to be leaving Hopster, I’m incredibly proud of the team’s achievements since we first launched nearly seven years ago. With Miki and Tyrell taking the reins I couldn’t be leaving the company in better hands – and look forward to continuing to help in whatever way I can as they go on to help kids learn through the stories they love.”

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