Maker Studios Puts Ex-Endemol CEO Kreiz in Charge, as Founder Steps Aside

CEO Danny Zappin will become a 'special adviser' to Ynon Kreiz at online multichannel network firm

Ynon Kreiz Maker Studios

Maker Studios, a provider of multichannel networks on YouTube, said chairman Ynon Kreiz will become executive chairman effective immediately, as co-founder and CEO Danny Zappin will step out of the top role to become a special adviser to Kreiz.

Kreiz joined the Maker board as chairman in May 2012. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of Endemol, the global TV and digital production company based in the Netherlands, from May 2008 until he quit in June 2011 over a dispute about the company’s strategic direction.

Maker said Kreiz will work alongside co-founders Lisa Donovan and Ben Donovan and COO Courtney Holt to continue building out the commercial side of the business, developing technology and expanding internationally. Zappin will remain a board member.

“I recognize that as we enter into our next phase of growth, we need additional leadership,” Zappin said in a statement. “After a year of working together closely I feel confident that Ynon is the right person to take Maker to next level. He has the rare combination of having worked with great talent and having scaled large media companies.”

Prior to Endemol, Kreiz was general partner at Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Capital Europe) also co-founded Fox Kids Europe, where he was chairman and CEO.

Kreiz said in a statement that he joined the company “because I believed it would be one of the most important players in online video and I see this happening more than ever today.” He added, “Danny has done a great job and I look forward to working with the leadership team to continue to continue to develop Maker as a global platform.”

Maker, founded in 2009, is backed by Greycroft, GRP Partners and Time Warner Investments, as well as individuals including Elisabeth Murdoch, Shari Redstone, Jon Miller and Robert Downey Jr.

Maker’s programming and talent include KassemG, Nice Peter’s “Epic Rap Battles of History,” the Shaytards, SnoopDogg’s WestFestTV, the Yogscast, the Gregory Bros., Bad Lip Reading and Mike Tompkins. The company recently topped 3 billion monthly views on YouTube and in the past year doubled its subscribers to 225 million.

The company said it completed a 70,000-sq.-ft. campus in Culver City, Calif., earlier this year, which includes a production facility.