Mike Woods, previously VP of product management at Disney’s Maker Studios, has been hired by Wurl, a Silicon Valley company that distributes online-video channels to pay-TV operators and over-the-top services.
Woods starts May 1 at the company, reporting to Sean Doherty, Wurl’s CEO and founder.
Channels available on the Wurl Network include Tastemade, Condé Nast, IGN TV, Newsy, Baeble Music TV, and the millennial-targeted ALT Channel. Wurl TV is designed for use on internet-connected set-tops; so far, the company has announced distribution agreements with about 50 smaller cable operators, including WideOpenWest, Fidelity Communications and TDS.
Woods had been with Maker Studios since March 2014, which is when Disney announced its deal to acquire the YouTube-oriented multichannel network player (ultimately paying $675 million). His departure from Maker comes after Disney earlier this year laid off 80 employees from the digital-media group, following Maker’s absorption into Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI).
Prior to Maker, Woods held positions at auto-info provider Edmunds.com and Ernst & Young.
“Mike is an experienced executive who will lead Wurl’s efforts to revolutionize TV programming delivery,” Doherty said in announcing the hire. “Mike brings Wurl the digital DNA that will drive product innovation for our digital studio partners.”
Added Woods, “Wurl’s technology for delivering digital content to traditional TV outlets is an industry leader, and I’m looking forward to expanding Wurl’s partnerships with video producers and distributors.”
Wurl, based in Palo Alto, Calif., has raised about $6.5 million in funding to date, according to CrunchBase.