In a surprise move, MTV Networks International today (Feb. 16) said its London-based president of creative and editor-in-chief Brent Hansen is exiting the company.

In a surprise move, MTV Networks International today (Feb. 16) said its London-based president of creative and editor-in-chief Brent Hansen is exiting the company.

He becomes the second U.K.-based president to split with a global music-focused corporation in a week, following the departure on Monday of Warner Music Internatiional's Paul-Rene Albertini.

In a statement issued today, Hansen comments, "With nearly two decades at MTV Networks, I've decided this is the right time in the company's history for me to resign and move on." Hansen tells Billboard.biz that he will remain in London for the forseeable future.

In the interim, MTV Networks vice chairman Bill Roedy will assume Hansen's management duties on an interim basis. It is not yet confirmed whether a direct replacement will be sought for Hansen's post. A spokesperson says Roedy "will get more closely connected to Brent's direct reports and figure that out in the coming weeks."

As head of MTV's European operations, Hansen has spearheaded the broadcaster's growth in Europe for the past 15 years. He is recognized as the architect of MTV Europe's localization strategy, which began in the late 1980s and saw the Viacom-owned company launching dedicated operations in all key European markets.

In the statement, Roedy says Hansen's "strong, creative instincts have also helped us achieve a unique editorial voice and music credibility that will continue to lend integrity to our brands for years to come."

New Zealand-born Hansen began his career at MTV Europe in 1987 as a news producer. In September 1994, he was promoted to president, creative director, MTV Networks Europe and was tasked with overseeing the creation of the MTV Europe Music Awards, now an annual event on the continent's music calendar.

Hansen took on a wider brief within MTVNI in April 2003 as president of creative.

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