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Zola Mashariki appointed Head of Audible Studios


Audible, the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, today announced Zola Mashariki has joined the company as Head of Audible Studios. In this role, Mashariki will spearhead the creation of all original content from conception through release. Based in Los Angeles, she will have vast oversight of the entire studio operation including the development and implementation of content strategy. Mashariki will report to Rachel Ghiazza, EVP, Head of US Content.

“Audible is in the business of fearlessly creating unparalleled audio experiences that showcase the best in storytelling. With Zola, a profoundly gifted executive, we are poised to conquer this important moment in audio—a pivotal time when creativity and originality are at a premium and we deepen our commitment to reimagine what audio experiences can mean for audiences,” commented Ghiazza.

She added, “Zola’s track record of creating award-winning, breakout hits, her exquisite taste, production expertise, and deep understanding of the intersection of audience appetite and quality content is beyond impressive. Her incomparable talent and industry relationships and leadership chops will be pivotal as we continue to break boundaries and accelerate the audio revolution.”

“Audible is an industry leader and the go-to home for extraordinary creators and gifted auteurs,” said Mashariki. “I’m absolutely thrilled to join a best-in-class team to lead content creation, evolve our strategy, amplify original voices - both emerging and established - and deliver imaginative, immersive, and high quality audio narratives to audiences everywhere.”

A Hollywood veteran, Mashariki has over two decades of experience in developing, producing, and packaging critically acclaimed, award winning and commercially successful content for film and television. Mashariki spent fifteen years at Fox Searchlight Pictures (now Searchlight Pictures) where she served as Senior Vice President of Production, overseeing an array of independent, international and niche projects. Some of her most successful projects were book adaptations including “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” starring Dame Judi Dench and Dame Maggie Smith, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s breakout hit “The Secret Life of Bees” starring Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys, “The Last King of Scotland,” for which Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for Best Actor, “Never Let Me Go,” starring Keira Knightley, Mira Nair’s critically acclaimed “The Namesake” with Kal Penn, Jim Sheridan’s Academy Award nominated “In America,” Tamara Jenkins’ Academy Award nominated “The Savages,” and Denzel Washington’s directorial debut “Antwone Fisher.” During her tenure at Searchlight, as part of the acquisitions team, she also worked on Academy Award winning “Slumdog Millionaire” and “12 Years A Slave,” as well as Sundance Film Festival Award winners “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Another Earth.”

In 2015, she was named Head of Original Programming at BET/Viacom, where she led the creative team and oversaw programming for both BET and Centric Networks. During her time, Mashariki developed and executive produced “The New Edition Story,” BET’s highest rated series in the last ten years, winner of two NAACP Image Awards. She also collaborated with the late John Singleton on his visionary series “Rebel,” and with Laurence Fishburne in telling Nelson Mandela’s life story in “Madiba.”

Most recently, Mashariki was Chief Content Officer for One Community (fka Good Films) and oversaw their critically acclaimed 2020 release “Just Mercy” which starred Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson and Jamie Foxx.

Prior to working in film, Mashariki co-founded, with the late Tony-winning playwright August Wilson, the African Grove Institute for the Arts (AGIA), a national theatre alliance. Mashariki was an early supporter of TIME’S UP and remains involved. She is a founding member of ReFrame, an organization created by entertainment industry leaders to help achieve gender parity in Hollywood.

Mashariki is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. She also attended the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her children.

About Audible

Audible, Inc., an, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 600,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.

Image: Hussein Katz


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