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Mika Salmi will leave his position as president of MTV Networks’ global media division at the end of March, it was announced today in an internal MTV memo. According to paidContent, his role in the company will not be replaced. We pinged Salmi to find out more and he emailed us back the following:
I had planned to take a short break after I sold Atom because I hadn’t had one since grad school but then I was offered the opportunity at viacom/mtvn so I delayed it. It is time for that now!
Salmi came to MTV through Viacom’s (s via.b) $200 million acquisition of Atom Entertainment (which itself was a merger between Atomfilms.com, which Salmi founded, and Shockwave.com) in August of 2006. He was a key proponent of Viacom’s “thousand front doors strategy” — creating web presences for individual Viacom properties like TheDailyShow.com, and expanding the company’s social networking efforts.
He also has the prestigious honor of being the first speaker at our first NewTeeVee Live Conference back in November 2007. Here’s a video of his talk (his part starts a couple minutes in):
On a personal note, I worked for Salmi during my time at AtomFilms, and he was a stand-up guy. You could get the sense that being a cog (though a really big one) in the Viacom corporate machine was not really for him. This was a guy who used to skateboard to work. At heart, he’s a serial entrepreneur. One time I told him that I had taken windsurfing lessons, to which he replied “That’s cool, when I was in high school I had my own windsurfing shop.” I’m sure his already got his next company in mind.