By Sahil Patel
Machinima has been on the search for a new chief executive officer since last November, when it was first revealed that the company’s current chairman and CEO, Allen DeBevoise*, was looking to fill one of his roles.
Now, after several months of rumors on who Machinima was looking at, it appears the company has finally picked DeBevoise’ successor: Chad Gutstein, the former chief operating officer of Ovation TV. First reported by Recode, Gutstein will now be responsible for steering Machinima, which recently completed an $18 million money round led by Warner Bros.
UPDATE: Machinima has confirmed Gutstein’s appointment as CEO.
“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,” said DeBevoise 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.”
“We plan to profitably grow our business with engaging original programming, nurturing the best affiliate channel partner program, and creating innovative solutions to help marketers reach our young, male and highly mobile audience,” added Gutstein in a statement.
It’s been a troubling few months at the gaming-and-entertainment video network, which has undergone several rounds of layoffs and executive departures. Most recently, Machinima laid off 42 employees, mostly from its sales organization, in an efforts to save costs. As a result, the company transitioned sales responsibilities directly to YouTube, while internally only choosing to focus on custom sponsorships and branded entertainment partnerships.
Gutstein beat out two other candidates for the chief executive role at Machinima, including former Shine America CEO Emiliano Calemzuk and another unnamed executive. Sources also tell us that at one point, prior to Warner Bros.’ investment in the company, current Guggenheim Digital Media chief executive Ross Levinsohn was also in the running.
* Allen DeBevoise is an investor in Videoink.