Media companies saw some major personnel this week, especially when it comes to streaming video, and Yahoo’s future as Altaba becomes a little clearer.
Scott Stuber has joined Netflix to head the development, production and acquisition of high-profile feature films. This is a big hire for the streaming service, which has become more aggressive in creating original films.
After Yahoo joins Verizon later this year, its remnants will become Altaba, which will continue to oversee holdings in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba. It was revealed this week that the spin-off company will be run by Thomas McInerney, the former chief financial officer at IAC. This announcement could shed more light on Marissa Mayer’s future relationship with the company. Mayer said in January that she would step down as CEO once the acquisition was completed, and she could receive a $23 million severance package when she does, although some believe that she may remain on in some capacity.
Nissan Europe has promoted Philippe Saillard to head of sales and marketing from his previous role of vice president of sales.
USA Gymnastics CEO, Steve Penny, resigned from the organization this week amid controversy. Penny had served as both president and chief executive officer for 12 years.
The visual effects and VR company, Digital Domain, announced that Amit Chopra, the company’s executive director and chief operating officer, has been appointed to the role of CEO for North America. In this capacity, Chopra will “direct the company’s North American operations, seeking to capitalize on emerging opportunities for visual effects, virtual reality (VR) production and original immersive content,” according to a press release.
Four months after its acquisition by Warner Bros., Machinima’s CEO, Chad Gutstein announced that he is leaving the company to pursue other “entrepreneurial projects.” Warner Bros. named Russell Arons as the new general manager of Machinima, and he’ll work with Gutstein on a “multiweek transition plan.”
Warner Bros. also promoted Jay Levine to executive VP of Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group. He will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations, which include ad sales, distribution, finance, business development and planning.
Vimeo is gearing up to launch a subscription-based VOD service, and it has hired Alana Mayo, a former VP of production at Paramount Pictures, as VP and head of original development. Additionally, Kesila Childers was hired as director of content development and Kelly Miller (formerly with Hulu) as the director of content acquisitions.
Sony Pictures Animation promoted Pam Marsden to head of production. Marsden has been overseeing the company’s growth recently, which has increased its output and tripled its staff size.
Bravo Media hired Noah Samton as SVP of current production company. In this role, he leads the team that oversees unscripted shows, including The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Don’t Be Tardy… and Summer House, in addition to the upcoming Relative Success with Tabatha Coffey and Stripped.
Michael Green stepped down as executive chairman of the digital content company, Studio71. However, he will remain on the company’s board. Additionally, the company announced the hire of Michael Schreiber, the former president of Tapestry Films, in the newly created position of president of scripted content.
Kevin Bruner announced in an internal email that he is stepping down as CEO of Telltale Games, maker of critically acclaimed narrative games such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Batman and more. In the email, he cited the company’s aggressive growth as the reason to pass the reigns on to someone who can take the company to the next level. That person, for now, is co-founder Dan Connors, who originally served as CEO until 2015.
Sega Europe made three senior promotions to its marketing and brand team. Anna Downing, who has been with the company for seven years, has been named marketing director for Sega Europe. Rowan Tafler is now the head of brand for Sega’s Searchlight business, which works with studios to release games on behalf of independent developers. Lastly, Peter Oliver is the head of public relations for Sega Europe. In this role, Oliver will oversee the implementation of PR campaigns and corporate communications across EMEA territories and the US for the company’s core pillars: Creative Assembly, Relic Entertainment, Sports Interactive, Sonic Team, Amplitude Studios and Sega Searchlight.
Frostkeep Studios, which was quietly formed by World of Warcraft veterans Solomon Lee, Mat Milizia and Jeremy Wood last year, officially announced itself this week. The company’s first project is a team-based survival game called Rend.
The Japanese video game and entertainment giant, Bandai Namco is buying out its partners in the Anime Consortium Japan (ACN). ACN’s primary business is in licensing and streaming Japanese animation content abroad through its Daisuki website. Bandai Namco, which currently owns a 36 percent stake, said that it will spend $18.5 million (JPY2.1 billion) make ACN a wholly-owned subsidiary.