Amazon’s New Weapon in Its War With Netflix: An Israeli Executive

Sharon Tal Yguado takes over the role after her predecessor was fired over sexual harassment complaints

Sharon Tal Yguado

Sharon Tal Yguado, an Israeli living in Los Angeles, was appointed as the interim head of Amazon’s dramas and comedies division, promoted from the scripted TV division. She will replace Joe Lewis, who produced two of Amazon’s top series: “Transparent” and “Mozart in the Jungle.” 

Tal Yguado, who is 43, was formerly the vice president of the international division at Fox. She was one of the people who helped develop the “Walking Dead” zombie series. The drama garnered great reviews and was distributed in over 200 countries around the world. She subsequently produced “Outcast” for Fox, before joining Amazon after its CEO, Jeff Bezos, decided that his company and its television series needed to carry as broad an international appeal as possible.

In her new role, Tal Yguado will be asked to enlarge the range of Amazon creations in an attempt to compete with companies such as Netflix and Hulu. Among other achievements, Tal Yguado has also promoted the production of American adaptations of Israeli series, buying the screenplay rights for “Ish Hashuv Meod” (“A Very Important Person”) and “Kfulim.” The latter was adapted for American audiences as a series called “False Flag.”

An Amazon employee feeds her dog a biscuit inside the Seattle company building on October 11, 2017.
Elaine Thompson/AP

In an interview with Haaretz last year, Tal Yguado was asked to what extent streaming companies such as Amazon and Netflix would change the look of contemporary television. “What Netflix has done and is doing is part of a wider phenomenon of changing viewer habits,” she replied. “What they showed us was that the artificial system we’d created, in which people paid a hundred dollars for subscribing to 300 channels which they didn’t watch, was not something the public wanted, but what the system compelled them to buy. As soon as the public was given an alternative which provided good content for one-tenth of the cost, with no advertising, people made the switch.” She added, “This was a message to the entire industry, stating that the party was over.”