Courtney Holt, who has served as the top executive at Maker Studios for roughly one year, is leaving that post to take on a new role within parent company Disney. The move comes as Disney has folded Maker Studios into a different division of its Consumer Products And Interactive Media (DCPI) arm, Variety reports.
Upon its acquisition in 2014, the Maker team initially reported to Disney CFO Jay Rasulo, but was folded into the DCPI division last year, and will now exist within DCPI’s Content & Media area, according to Variety. Andrew Sugerman, who is EVP of Content & Media for DCPI, will replace Holt as Maker’s top executive. Holt has now been named EVP of media and strategy at Disney, reporting to senior EVP and chief strategy officer Kevin Mayer.
“Merging Maker Studios with Content & Media allows DCPI to continue to expand audiences — across both physical and digital content,” Holt wrote in a memo to staffers obtained by Variety. “And, by taking a broader digital content offering to market, we can truly differentiate ourselves to advertisers and distribution platforms.” DCPI’s Content & Media organization publishes original short-form and micro-content across various platforms and social channels, he noted, and is also responsible for Disney’s licensed books.
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Maker was acquired by Disney in a landmark deal for the space that could’ve been worth as much as $950 million if certain performance goals were met — though the final price was a less-than-expected $675 million. Maker has also undergone several leadership shakeups in recent months. Former top exec Ynon Kreiz left the company last December after the acquisition was finalized, for instance, and Maker also tendered layoffs of roughly 30 employees in July in what it described as a strategic adjustment.
“Andrew is a fantastic leader and I’m energized by his passion for the organization and what we do at Maker,” Holt wrote. “On a personal note, even though I remain a key supporter of Maker within Disney, stepping away from the day-to-day will be a change of pace.”