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Netflix Snags Senior Producer From Disney+, While Facing Lawsuit for ‘Poaching’ Employees

Netflix has confirmed the hire of Dan Silver, VP of Non-fiction Originals at Disney+, to become its Director of Documentary Feature Films, reporting to Lisa Nishimura, VP of Independent Film and Documentary Features.

The move comes as Netflix coincidentally faces another lawsuitthis time from Activisionover its allegedly aggressive hiring practices.

Silver was a highly regarded producer at Disney+, having worked on acclaimed projects like The Imagineering Story, Howard, Encore, Muppets Now, Marvel’s 616 and the upcoming On Pointe in his role overseeing all of the streamer’s documentaries, docuseries, unscripted formats and specials.

A longtime Disney employee, Silver previously headed Platforms and Content/New Media at Marvel Entertainment.

As reported last week in The Licensing Letter, Disney is going through a massive reorganization, particularly in its television streaming divisions. It’s not known if Silver’s departure is in some way related to that restructuring.

But Disney+ rival Netflix has been extremely aggressive in snapping up talent from its competitors in recent years, so much so that the streaming giant has faced a number of lawsuits.

According to a story on Deadline, gaming giant Activision Blizzard filed suit against Netflix on Friday for hiring away one of its top executives, CFO Spencer Neumann.

“Netflix unapologetically recruits talent without regard to its ethical and legal obligations,” says the Activision Statement of Claim. “To shape its workforce to its desires, Netflix not only ruthlessly fires its own employees that it deems ‘adequate,’ but is engaged in a years-long campaign of unlawfully poaching executives from Netflix’s competitors regardless of their contractual obligations.”

As Deadline notes in its story, the lawsuit from Activision was filed less than a year after a court battle in which Fox (now owned by Disney) successfully sued  Netflix, after Netflix hired two executives from Fox in 2016. Netflix has appealed the decision in the Fox case, but is also facing similar legal action from ViacomCBS.

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