By Sahil Patel
AOL has appointed Nate Hayden as its new vice president of originals. Creative director for AOL Studios since last April, he will now lead AOL’s original series strategy.
He will replace Gabriel Lewis, the former head of AOL Studios, who has left the company “to pursue other opportunities,” according to AOL.
Hayden is not the only executive move in AOL’s video department. The company has named Naomi Yasuda senior director of AOL Studios, tasked with leading daily operations for the production division.
Both Hayden and Yasuda will be based in LA.
AOL’s original programming currently focuses on reality/unscripted fare from people with “authentic voices” — and a sizeable following. Shows include the Emmy-nominated series “Park Bench with Steve Buscemi” and Tiffany Shlain’s “The Future Starts Here,” as well as shows featuring the likes of Zoe Saldana, James Franco, Nicole Richie, and Justine Ezarik.
Its 2013 slate, which includes a few of the shows and stars mentioned above, have generated more than 167 million views, according to AOL. The 2014 slate, which was first unveiled at the company’s 2014 DCNF, is in the process of rolling out.