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Machinima Taps Chad Gutstein as CEO

YouTube juggernaut in a state of transition

Chad E. Gutstein will take over as Chief Executive Officer of Machinima, as the media company behind several popular YouTube channels is in a period of transition — one that has brought both layoffs and new funding.

Gutstein is a veteran cable executive and was Chief Operating Officer of the Ovation television network. He takes over from co-founder Allen Debevoise, who announced he was stepping down as CEO in November and helped lead the search for his replacement.

Gutstein’s name was mentioned frequently in reports about who would take the reins at the company, as was that of former Shine America CEO Emiliano Calemzuk.

Also read: Machinima CEO Allen DeBevoise to Step Down

Earlier this month, Machinima raised $18 million in financing, led by Warner Bros. Entertainment and with existing investors MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and Google Capital participating. It also announced it was letting 42 employees go from its sales division, as a cost-cutting measure.

The company, best known for offering up gamer-driven content, reaches more than 200 million viewers, but it is trying to raise the quality of its content and to invest in more premium shows such as “Mortal Kombat: Legacy.”

“Machinima is ready for the next level, and Chad has all of the unique qualities we were seeking in a new CEO to bring us there,” DeBevoise said in a statement. “His fresh and respected outlook, deep knowledge of the TV and digital business, and proven track record will all benefit Machinima as we enter our next phase of growth.  Chad’s most recent experience building Ovation’s brand and audience, and translating the value of its audience and programming to TV distributors and tier one advertisers, will help Machinima exponentially accelerate its mission.”

In addition to his tenure at Ovation, Gutstein founded Entertainment Media Advisors, a media consulting firm, and  served as senior vice president of BuyTV and principal at media investment fund, WaterView Advisors.