By Sahil Patel
Russell Simmons’ All Def Digital has hired its first president and chief operating officer: Sanjay Sharma, who comes to the company from Machinima, where he served as EVP of strategy and business development.
In his new role, Sharma will be responsible for running day-to-day operations at All Def Digital, which was founded by Simmons in partnership with AwesomenessTV to focus on urban music, comedy, and spoken-word creators and programming.
“We have been incubating All Def Digital for some time now, working closely with our partners at Awesomeness TV, YouTube, HBO, and Universal Music Group as we introduce an incredible new generation of talent to audiences worldwide,” said Simmons in a statement. “We knew we were ready to take All Def Digital to the next level, but first we had to identify and recruit a rare executive that understood the multiracial singularly cultural audience, and knew the many worlds we play in, from digital and television to film and music.”
One of the earliest employees at Machinima, Sharma was instrumental in boosting its growth into a multi-channel giant on YouTube. He is the latest in a line of top executives to depart the company in the past year.
As part of the hire, Sharma will also join ADD’s board of directors.
Prior to Machinima, he worked in the business and legal affairs division at Warner Bros.