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Maker Studios founders exit

Two of the founders of YouTube multi-channel network Maker Studios have left the firm just months after its US$500m sale to The Walt Disney Company.

Siblings Lisa and Ben Donovan have departed the US firm five years after launching the company with CEO Danny Zappin, who stepped down last year. Zappin is currently suing the pair after arguing that the company’s managers worked together to push him out of the business.

Maker, which provides production and marketing services for 55,000 YouTube channels, currently boasts 380 million subscribers and 5.5 billion video views a month on YouTube, with its content mostly targeting the younger millennial generation.

Maker said in a statement: “Lisa and Ben have left the company. They will always be an important part of the Maker family.

“We are forever grateful for their pioneering vision in founding the company five years ago that has since become the world’s leading provider of online video content for millennials. Lisa and Ben are among the most creative people we know and we wish them all the best.”

The Donovans remained on Maker’s board until the Disney deal closed in March, which was its biggest acquisition since buying Star Wars creator LucasFilm for US$4.05bn in late 2012.

In April, Maker partnered with fashion and lifestyle brand Nylon TV on its first scripted drama series Oh, You Pretty Things!.

In the same month, the firm appointed former Vice Media, Yahoo! and Bebo/AOL exec Dan’l Hewitt as MD of its UK business.


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