From a new head of video at Facebook to diving into fast food, eSports and VR, here are some of the past week’s biggest job moves.
Facebook has hired Mina Lefevre, formerly a vice president for scripted programming at MTV, to head its video development team. Lefevre said in the announcement: “I have always been drawn to the idea of building something and the idea of being part of the team that helps build Facebook’s original content ecosystem. . . well, that just seems like a dream!”
Todd Smith, president and CMO for the restaurant chain, Sonic Corp. announced that he is stepping down from the role on March 9 to “pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity outside of the quick-service restaurant industry.”
Net-A-Porter, an online retailer, has appointed Dana Gers as its new global marketing and communications director. Porter, who is currently the senior vice president global brand marketing and communications at Jimmy Choo, will be taking up the role in April.
Television company, Skydance Media, promoted Don Granger to president of feature film production. In this role, Granger will oversee David Ellison’s film slate. This move comes a week after the company promoted Jesse Sisgold to president and chief operating officer and marks its ongoing goal of producing its own films while broadening into TV, virtual reality and other areas.
Bret Havey has been promoted to VP and brand creative director at Turner’s TBS and TNT channels. In this role, he will oversee all on-air promotions and creative initiatives for the two networks.
Disney-ABC TV Group is reorganizing ad sales, putting it all under one umbrella led by Rita Ferro. This means that instead of negotiating with ABC and Freeform separately, marketers can buy the portfolio together. Ferro will oversee all advertising sales functions and ad revenue-generating strategies for the company’s domestic entertainment, news and kids linear, digital TV and radio businesses.
While it hasn’t been confirmed, Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger may extend his tenure for a third time, say sources close to the company. Iger has been planning for retirement, which is still 16 months away, but a successor has yet to be found.
Hasbro announced the promotion of John Frascotti to president. According to a press release, “Frascotti will continue to lead Hasbro’s product design and development, global marketing, digital gaming, entertainment and consumer products initiatives.”
Vox Media, which operates the Verge and Re/code, named Trei Brundrett as its first chief operating officer and will presumably lead the company’s advertising technology, products and data with a focus on video and native ads.
Influencer marketing and media company, Whosay, added marketing industry veteran, Jim Speros to its board of directors.
Jeffrey Siminoff, who was controversially appointed as Twitter’s diversity chief last year, announced that he will be stepping down from the post at the end of the month.
The former head of Amazon’s Fire TV unit, Timothy D. Twerdahl, has been hired by Apple as its VP in charge of Apple TV product marketing.
VR media company, Jaunt, announced that it has hired former Hulu executive Jean-Paul “JP” Colaco as its first chief revenue officer. Colaco is tasked with turning Jaunt into a moneymaking business.
Former Next Games and Rovio vet, Kalle Kaivola, has joined the German studio group, Control Productions as COO. In this role, Kaivola will oversee existing teams, recruit new members, and monitor performance quality across businesses that currently consist of 18 teams that include an in-house publisher, a gamification unit and 15 separate development units.
Adam Orth, who made a name for himself with the game Adr1ft, announced that his startup studio, Three One Zero, has “run its course.” He has now joined the VR studio, First Contact (creator of ROM: Extraction) as chief strategist. In this position, Orth expects to work on new IP in addition to assisting with business development and strategic relationships.
Former Sony VR expert, David Ranyard, unveiled a new independent studio, Dream Reality Interactive, which has a team comprised of former Sony London Studios developers. The company will focus on developing quality VR experiences.
Chinese mobile game publisher, Skymoons, has opened a new studio in Edinburgh, Scotland, which marks the first time the company has invested in game development for the area.
After announcing the start of a new (currently nameless) studio empire with offices in Edinburgh and LA, Leslie Benzies said that he will be opening a third office in Budapest. This office will be headed by Kristoffer Waardahl, the former head of Crytek Hungary.
Seattle-based lawyer, Bryce Blum, has founded the law firm ESG Law, the world’s first dedicated eSports firm. Blum currently works with several eSports teams and talents across the US, covering topics such as player contracts and endorsement deals.
TT Games, famous for developing the popular Lego games for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, announced that it has acquired Playdemic, a studio based in Wilmslow, UK. The studio will work on new Lego mobile games.