Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Maker Studios, has stepped down. Kreiz joined the company in 2013 and was instrumental in building Maker Studios up until the multi-channel network (MCN) was sold to Disney last year for over $500 million. Kreiz will be succeeded by Courtney Holt, Maker’s COO, who will step in as ‘executive vice president’.
According to Re/code, Kreiz’s departure isn’t surprising to people in or outside of Disney, as Maker’s earn-out agreement with Disney expires at the end of this year.
Kreiz was CEO of Endemol before joining Maker, and it has not been confirmed where he’ll . Re/code also reports that Disney paid $105 million out of a potential $200 million to cover the first part of Maker’s earn-out agreement, and is likely to only have to pay out another $100 million out of a possible $250 million as Maker looks set to miss its revenue targets.
We’ve seen a number of MCN CEOs move on this year. Rightster CEO Patrick Walker stepped down in October as the company announced a strategic review.
While AOL is far more than an MCN, the company has also seen a number of high level departures on the video side. AOL President, Bob Lord, who has very much been the front-facing leader of the company, left a couple of weeks ago. Lord will leave the company ‘sometime next year’, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Lord joined in July 2013 as the head of AOL Networks, and one of his core tasks was to create a unified and automated ad tech, media and content syndication stack. Lord joined just before AOL acquired Adap.tv, and during his tenure, AOL acquired several companies, including: Millennial Media, a mobile ad platform; Gravity, a web personalisation company; Vidible, an automated content syndication platform; and Convertro, which helps marketers track people across devices. AOL also won the right to respresent much of Microsoft’s inventory. However, Lord, says he has set his sights on running a public company, which seems like an unlikely outcome in the short-term, as AOL now constitutes a relatively small part of Verizon since the $4.4 billion acquisition in May.
In October 2014, Ran Harnevo step down as Head of Video, and was replaced by Dermot McCormack, formerly of Viacom. McCormack lasted less than a year and stepped down in September.
Then on the Adap.tv side, Ashkenazi, the founder of CEO of video ad tech company Adap.tv, who then became President of AOL Platforms, left in February of this year. Ashkenazi’s Adap.tv co-founder Teg Grenager, who had been the company’s chief product officer left late in 2014, while Toby Gabriner, who once acted as both President and CEO of Adap.tv, left last spring.