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Machinima appoints new GM as CEO prepares for exit

Warner Bros. marketing exec Russell Arons will step up after Chad Gutstein leaves to pursue "entrepreneurial projects"

Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein will leave the media platform in the near future, to be replaced by seasoned Warner Bros marketing executive Russell Arons.

Arons, who joined Warner Bros. in 2009, will soon lead the full breadth of Machinima: creative, marketing, data analytics, business development, operations and its multi-channel network. When Arons does take control her title will be general manager, but first she will work with CEO Chad Gutstein in what Warner Bros has called a "multi-week transition plan."

Arons was previously head of marketing at EA Play, working with IP like The Sims, Harry Potter and Hasbro's portfolio. She joined Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment as SVP of worldwide marketing, at the start of a period in which the division grew from what amounted to a licensing operation to one of the industry's foremost publishers.

In a statement released last week, Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros' Television and Digital Networks groups, said Arons "speaks the same language as our Machinima creators, community and team, and has the proven ability to build and unlock strong consumer relationships.

"In her new role, Russell will deepen Machinima's relationship with an audience that's important to many Warner Bros. divisions to further optimize our marketing and direct-to-consumer activities and serve as a hub for social video across the company."

Hunegs also emphasised Gutstein's work in improving Machinima's performance and building a network of content and creators in his three years as CEO. Gutstein will now "pursue entrepreneurial projects."

Warner Bros acquired Machinima in November 2016, a logical progression after being a key investor for two years. According to Warner Bros, Machinima and its network gets 3.8 billion video views every month.

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