Chicken Soup for the Soul sets out leadership team following Redbox deal

David Ellender

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE) has unveiled its new senior leadership team following the $375m acquisition of DVD rental firm and producer Redbox.

Redbox CEO Galen C. Smith becomes executive vice chairman of Redbox and CSSE, while former Scripps Networks exec Jonathan Katz has been named president of CSSE. Both report to chairman and CEO, William J. Rouhana.

Katz, as president, will oversee day-to-day operations including the company’s streaming, distribution and studio businesses along with the movie rental kiosk business.

Senior execs reporting to him include David Ellender, who becomes CEO of studios and continues to lead the Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group, developing and producing original content for all owned-and-operated platforms. This now includes Redbox kiosks and streaming, as well as third-party productions.

Ellender joined the company after CSSE acquired his Sonar Productions outfit in 2021.

Elsewhere, David Fannon oversees all domestic and international content acquisition and distribution as chief acquisitions and distribution officer, while Adam Mosam is chief digital officer, who leads on streaming, including product, technology, and platform distribution.

Other appointments include:

  • COO and president, Redbox Service, Michael Chamberlain – continues to oversee the operations of the Redbox kiosk business, and leads the growing kiosk service business
  • Chief marketing officer, Mike Feldner – adds the combined company to his Redbox role, heading up all marketing, branding, and creative services, along with leading the company’s analytics and insights team
  • Chief revenue officer, Philippe Guelton – expands role to lead all advertising sales and operations, as well as revenue partnerships across the company

Smith will oversee all long-term planning for the company, including strategy, acquisitions and corporate services. Reporting to him are:

  • SVP of corporate communications, Peter Binazeski – heads the company’s corporate communications and public relations
  • Chief people officer, Marisa Famulare – continues to direct all people functions
  • Chief innovation officer, Jason Kwong – shifts duties to newly expanded role incubating and developing future areas of growth for the combined business
  • Chief financial officer, Chris Mitchell – continues responsibility for all financial operations, capital structure, and investor relations
  • Chief strategy officer, Elana Sofko – continues to manage M&A activities and international expansion
  • Chief legal officer, Fred Stein – expands his Redbox role to oversee all legal, business affairs and risk management.

Rouhana said: “Our company is scaling rapidly – especially after our recent acquisition of Redbox. As we continue to grow, this team has the knowledge, skill, and drive to build a major company that delivers premium entertainment to value-conscious consumers. I’m very excited about the future of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.”

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