Maker Studios’ uncertain Disney days continue with management, division shift

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Courtney Holt will step down as head of Maker Studios and move to another position at Disney, and content and media executive vice president Andrew Sugerman will take over. Image: Disneyland

Disney’s Maker Studios is undergoing another transition as it moves to a new division within Disney and comes under new management.

According to Variety, Maker Studios will now be a part of Disney’s content and media department—still within the consumer products and interactive media (DCPI) division to which Maker Studios was moved last year. According to an internal memo obtained by the publication, Courtney Holt will step down as head of Maker Studios and move to another position at Disney, and content and media executive vice president Andrew Sugerman will take over.

“In the weeks to come, you’ll hear more about how the teams will come together around an integrated digital content strategy—both domestically and internationally. Andrew is a fantastic leader and I’m energized by his passion for the organization and what we do at Maker,” Holt wrote in the memo, according to Variety. “On a personal note, even though I remain a key supporter of Maker within Disney, stepping away from the day-to-day will be a change of pace. It’s been an unforgettable 5-year+ journey and I’m grateful for everyone’s continued dedication to the brand. Disney is truly the best media company in the world, and I’m excited to see what’s ahead in digital for the business.”

For Maker Studios, this marks yet another management shift since Disney acquired the company in 2014.

RELATED: Report: Disney's Maker Studios to lay off 10% of workforce

Disney paid $500 million for Maker Studios but was on the hook for another $450 million of certain goals were met, making for a nearly $1 billion sum that was eye-popping at the time.

For Disney, acquiring an online multichannel network like Maker Studios, which had enjoyed success on platform’s like YouTube, was a smart way to market to and reach younger audiences. As Disney CEO Bob Iger put it, his company saw Maker Studios as distribution platform, but one that also came with a community of creatives who could help produce content and promote Disney’s films, TV series and theme parks.

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