AOL named Nate Hayden VP of originals and branded entertainment, following the departure of AOL Studios head Gabriel Lewis.
“Gabe (Lewis) has left to pursue other opportunities,” an AOL rep said. Friday is Lewis’ last day at AOL.
Hayden (pictured above) now oversees AOL’s content creation and premium original programming. He had been creative director of AOL Studios since March 2013. Before joining the Internet-media company, he was VP of development at FremantleMedia North America, where he led cable development, and also has worked as a producer and director at Viacom’s MTV Networks and Mark Burnett Prods.
In addition, the company promoted Naomi Yasuda to be senior director of AOL Studios, leading New York and L.A. production facilities; previously she had been an exec producer for AOL Studios. Both Hayden and Yasuda will be based in Los Angeles.
“Both Nate and Naomi are committed to creating the engaging, authentic content that AOL viewers know and love, while also constantly innovating and pushing beyond the status quo,” Ran Harnevo, AOL’s president of video, said in announcing the appointments.
AOL has launched nearly 50 original series since 2011. The company’s 2013 slate of 15 original shows included series from Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Richie and Hank Azaria. Richie’s web series, “#candidlynicole,” is currently in its second season on AOL and was recently picked up by VH1 for adaptation as a TV series.