Kathy Savitt Departs Yahoo to Lead Digital at STX Entertainment
One of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's first hires, Savitt oversaw marketing and original content as CMO and head of media.
Yahoo CMO Kathy Savitt is leaving the tech company after three years to become president of digital at STX Entertainment.
In her new role, Savitt will oversee all of the STX's global digital strategy and her hire is key to the year-old studio's plans to produce, market and distribute feature films, television programming and digital content. She will report to CEO Robert Simonds with dotted line report to president Sophie Watts.
"Kathy's combined expertise in marketing and digital content creation is unparalleled," said Simonds. "Her industry experience and creative vision will establish STX Digital as a new and disruptive force in the entertainment industry as we tell compelling stories to a global audience. She has keen insights into storytelling that meets digital and television viewers where they watch."
Savitt's departure from Yahoo is a big loss for CEO Marissa Mayer, who continues to face scrutiny over efforts to turn around the beleaguered company. As one of Mayer's first executive appointments at Yahoo, Savitt's role at the company grew significantly over the last three years. She recently took on the role of head of media, where she has overseen the launch of Yahoo's Tumblr-supported digital magazines and the creation of Yahoo original programming for video streaming service Screen.
It was Savitt who spearheaded Yahoo's 2014 acquisition of Community after NBC canceled the beloved but ratings challenged Dan Harmon comedy. The show has been effectively canceled after one season at Yahoo, although the company released a statement in August saying that it would look for "future opportunities" for the show.
A veteran marketer at companies like American Eagle Outfitters, Savitt turned her eye to entrepreneurship in 2009 as the founder and CEO of social commerce Lockerz, which shut down in 2014.
STX, which was founded in 2014, has focused on building up its film and television divisions but will now put additional focus on developing content across digital programs with the help of Savitt. The studio released its first film, Jason Bateman horror thriller The Gift, on Aug. 7.
"I'm excited to join Bob, Sophie and the STX team," said Savitt. "In a time of unprecedented change in the media industry, STX is redefining storytelling. Viewers are in control and each film or show has to earn its space in their time on its own merit. What we are doing at STX hasn't been done before; we are creating a new way for audiences to access meaningful stories, from wherever they are."
Savitt's move could be part of a larger shakeup at Yahoo, according to tech news site Re/Code. A Yahoo spokeswoman sent along the following statement about Savitt: "We appreciate her contributions to Yahoo over the past three years and wish her well."
Sept. 11, 9:47 a.m. Updated to include a statement from Yahoo.