John Hardie, CEO of British producer ITN, the company behind Netflix’s recent doc series Drug Lords, is leaving the company after nearly a decade.

Hardie, joined the company in 2009 from Disney, where he was executive vice-president and managing director of Walt Disney Television across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

He leaves the company in good shape, having helped it grow into a company with revenues of £126m (US$166M), up from £96m in 2010, with profits of nearly £6m. It also received its first Oscar nomination with Watani: My Homeland nominated in 2017 for best documentary short.

It has two major division, a news production arm, which produces news broadcasts for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and a traditional TV production arm, which has made shows such as The Queen’s Green Planet, with Sir David Attenborough, for ITV, Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen for Investigation Discovery and Inside Monster Storms, a fast-turnaround documentary about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma for Discovery’s Science Channel. It also produces a raft of sports content.

Hardie is expected to stay in television or media and ITN is searching for successor.

He said, “It has been my honour and privilege to lead this unique organisation for nearly a decade, working alongside some of the very best in the business. But the time has come for me to start the next chapter of my career and pursue some long-held ambitions and it is absolutely the right time for a new CEO to take the reins.

“It will be my enduring pride to have played my part in shaping ITN into one of the most successful, highly-regarded television production companies in the UK, solidifying its position not only in world-class broadcast news but also in television production, sports, advertising and digital. Today’s ITN is stronger than it has ever been, with our creativity as well as our journalism recognised globally at the highest level, a growing international client base and a robust plan for the future. I look forward to watching the company continue to flourish into the next stage of its evolution.”

ITN Chair Geert Linnebank added, “Over the past nine years, John has led an incredibly successful turnaround of ITN, transforming it into a thriving, profitable and diversified organisation with a global reputation for excellence. Under his skilful leadership, ITN has seen a period of unprecedented growth, reaching record levels of revenue and profits. He leaves the company in fantastic shape for the future with a strong blueprint for further expansion both in the UK and internationally. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank John for his passion, drive and commitment in getting ITN to where it is today. We are pleased he will be staying on until the end of the year to support a smooth transition and we wish him every success in his future endeavours.”