Shortly after the start of the new year, Maker Studios will experience a changing of the guard. The multi-channel network’s CEO, Ynon Kreiz, will step down from his position, and current COO Courtney Holt will replace him as the company’s top executive.
After months of speculation about his status as Maker’s CEO, Kreiz will officially step down on January 11th. Back in August, Recode hinted that Kreiz could leave his post at the end of 2014. As we learned then, the timing of his departure is significant, since it comes just a few days after Disney finalizes the payout totals from its 2014 purchase of Maker. Kreiz, who was instrumental in engineering that deal, will therefore receive a hefty payday before stepping down, although Recode’s August report suggested the total payout will fall short of the $950 million Maker’s shareholders would receive were the company to achieve all its performance-based incentives. The base price of the deal was $500 million.
Kreiz won’t be the first executive to leave Maker over the past few months. In August, just days after Recode published its article, Variety reported that Chief Content Officer Erin McPherson and Senior Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Welt had both left the company.
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Kreiz, a former Endemol bigwig, came to Maker in May 2013, when he replaced the network’s co-founder, Danny Zappin, as CEO. Zappin promptly sued Kreiz and other members of the Maker board, arguing that they had unjustly ousted him from his position.
Holt, on the other hand, is one of Maker’s longest-tenured execs, having been with the company since 2011. When he takes over for Kreiz, he will assume the title of executive VP, per Variety. He will report to Disney Interactive co-president Jimmy Pitaro.