Spike TV announced that Bjorn Rebney is out at Bellator as their CEO effective immediately along with Tim Danaher, who was the COO and President of the company. No reason was given as to why Rebney was ousted from the company. Rebney released a statement implying that a difference in “right strategic direction for Bellator” was a reason for the change in leadership.
“It is with bittersweet emotions that I announce that I am leaving the company I founded,” Rebney stated in a press release. “I have great pride in having turned my vision into reality, a thriving business with television distribution to over 140 countries around the world, a partnership with one of the world’s largest entertainment giants and wide array of sponsors, partners and strategic allies all over the globe. This has been a wonderful eight plus years of creation, development and success. I will miss the courageous, strong and dedicated fighters I have had the pleasure of promoting, and equally, I will miss the incredibly hard working, remarkable team that has become a family for me over the years.
“Viacom and Tim (Danaher) and I differed in our views of the right strategic direction for Bellator, but Tim and I both wish them well.”
Rebney launched Bellator in 2009 and took the company from being on stations like Fox Sports Net and ESPN Deportes to Viacom purchasing a majority stake of Bellator in late 2011. Bellator aired on MTV until the end of 2012 and the company airs their fights on Spike.
“I would like to thank Bjorn and Tim on behalf of Spike and Viacom for their dedication and hard work building Bellator from the ground up,” Spike TV president Kevin Kay stated. “They worked tirelessly in getting Bellator to where it is today. They were great partners to work with and we wish them all the best.”
No announcement has been made on who will replace Rebney, but MMA journalist Josh Gross is reporting that former head of Strikeforce Scott Coker will be the new guy in charge.