The YouTube-native network Maker Studios has announced a leadership shakeup. Ynon Kreiz, Maker's chairman, has been named executive chairman, while co-founder and CEO Danny Zappin will settle in as an adviser and remain on the board.
In a memo to staff, obtained by AllThingsD, Zappin said he will be stepping away from his day-to-day work with the company but promised to "work very closely with Ynon during this transition phase to make sure everything goes smoothly." And in a written release from the company, Zappin touted Maker's potential for growth as an opportunity to initiate the leadership change.
“We founded Maker to provide support for talented content creators around the world allowing them to focus on creating the best content possible while building large audiences," Zappin said. "We have accomplished this and so much more. At the same time, I recognize that as we enter into our next phase of growth, we need additional leadership. After a year of working together closely I feel confident that Ynon is the right person to take Maker to next level."
Maker has plenty of cash on hand to help take it to the next level. The company took in a $36 million round of financing led by Time Warner Investments late last year. But it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing.
Before that financing was announced, Maker went through an acrimonious — and public — split with Ray William Johnson, one of the network's stars. According to AllThingsD, though, Tuesday's announcement didn't have anything to do with that ordeal. Last week was announced that Johnson had partnered with the Web video site Blip.