(March 17, 2017 – Burbank, CA) – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Russell Arons, has been named General Manager of Machinima, Warner Bros. Digital Network Group’s multi-platform programming service with a global community of gamer, comic, and hero fans. This announcement was made today by Craig Hunegs, President, Business and Strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and President, Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group. Arons will work with Chad Gutstein, Machinima’s current CEO, on a multi-week transition plan, after which he’ll leave the company to pursue entrepreneurial projects.
In her new role, Arons will lead all of Machinima’s creative, marketing services, data analytics, business development and operations, as well as the Machinima MCN.
“Russell is a terrific creative executive with exceptional audience experience and brand building capabilities. With deep knowledge in gaming, she speaks the same language as our Machinima creators, community and team, and has the proven ability to build and unlock strong consumer relationships,” said Hunegs. “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.”
Machinima became part of Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group in November 2016; prior to that, the Studio was an investor in the programming service. A global programming service and production operation delivering popular programming to millions, Machinima runs a full-service production studio and has premium content partnerships with key platforms, including Playstation Vue, Amazon Prime, Verizon’s go90, China’s Sohu and The CW Network. According to comScore (January 2017), Machinima is the 10th largest digital video entertainment media company in the U.S. ranked by total unique viewers. Globally, Machinima has 3.8 billion monthly video views for a total of 19 billion minutes of video watched per month.
“I’d also like to thank Chad for his many contributions over the last three years,” Hunegs continued. “He’s done a great job leading Machinima’s team as they’ve strengthened their creator network, improved audience engagement and launched a content studio. I know he’s eager to take on a new venture, and everyone at Warner Bros. wishes him great success.”
Arons joined Warner Bros. in 2009 as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. She has been a key member of the leadership team responsible for building WBIE into a top-tier video game publisher with global franchises and multiple studios.
Before WBIE, Arons served as head of marketing for Electronic Arts’ EA Play division which included “The Sims” and “MySims” franchises, “Harry Potter” and the Hasbro portfolio, based on popular toy brands and board games. Prior to joining EA in 2007, Arons served as Vice President of Marketing at InfoSpace and, before that, she spent a decade at Mattel. Arons is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois with degrees in Business and Philosophy.
About Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group: Founded in June 2016, Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group is aggressively creating and building OTT services, producing digital native content, growing Warner Bros. direct to consumer capabilities and building a digital-first team at Warner Bros. As part of Time Warner’s overall growth in direct to consumer offerings, WBDNG works closely with sister divisions Turner and HBO. WBDNG's portfolio includes Boomerang (a partnership with Turner), DramaFever, Machinima, Warner Archive, Stage 13, Uninterrupted (a partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter), Ellen Digital Ventures (a partnership with Ellen DeGeneres) and a number of other services to be announced in coming months.