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Ynon Kreiz exits Maker

Courtney Holt is to become the head of Disney-owned multichannel network Maker Studios as Ynon Kreiz leaves the company after three years.

Courtney Holt

Courtney Holt

Holt, who was previously Maker’s chief strategy officer, assumes oversight of from president Kreiz, who will be leaving the company on January 11.

Holt was as an adviser to News Corp Digital and was president of Myspace Music prior to joining Maker Studios.

Before MySpace, he was executive VP of digital media and music for Viacom’s MTV Networks Music and Logo Group.

Kreiz joined Maker in June 2012 as chairman having left his position as CEO and chairman and Endemol in 2011. He became Maker exec chairman in 2013, taking over responsibilities of co-founder and CEO Danny Zappin, who stepped aside but then subsequently sued him.

Ynon Kreiz

Ynon Kreiz

In 2014, The Walt Disney Company paid US$500m upfront for Maker, with a potential US$450m more depending on the business achieving performance targets.

That earn-out period is coming to a close in line with the end of the calendar year and while it’s not yet clear whether Maker has hit its targets, Kreiz’s departure, along with other senior execs at this time had been expected.

“We are pleased that Courtney Holt has agreed to take on an expanded role leading Maker Studios as we continue to explore new ways to leverage Maker’s unique capabilities across The Walt Disney Company,” said Jimmy Pitaro, co-chair of Disney consumer products and interactive media and president of Disney Interactive.

“We also want to thank Ynon Kreiz, who in just three short years helped Maker Studios become the global leader in shortform entertainment. We appreciate his leadership during this critical time.”

Maker has become Disney’s hub for all its shortform video and in October announced it would release Marvel and Star Wars-themed series for Verizon’s go90 mobile app.

Established in 2009, it now has around 550,000 independent content creators on its books, including global star PewDiePie, who together bring in a total of 10 billion views per month.

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