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Audible Studios Chief Zola Mashariki Exiting

EXCLUSIVE: Zola Mashariki, the former Fox Searchlight and BET exec who has headed up Audible Studios for the last two years, is leaving the Amazon-owned company.

Mashariki has been in the position since early 2021. She is expected to remain in a transition role through the middle of October.

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As head of Audible Studios, she was tasked with spearheading original content for the company, reporting to Chief Content Officer Rachel Ghiazza.

She oversaw series such as singing competition podcast Breakthrough, which starred Sara Bareilles and Kelly Rowland, and was behind signing a slew of talent deals with A-list stars.

Mashariki spent 15 years at Searchlight, where she rose to SVP of production, overseeing projects like The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Secret Life of Bees and The Last King of Scotland. As part of the acquisitions team, she also worked on Best Picture Oscar winners Slumdog Millionaire and 12 Years A Slave.

She later joined BET, where she was Head of Original Programming between 2015 and 2017, developing and exec producing series such as The New Edition Story, John Singleton’s series Rebel, and Laurence Fishburne’s Nelson Mandela story Madiba.

Before joining Audible, Mashariki was chief content officer for One Community, formerly known as Good Films. She oversaw the company’s 2019 release, Just Mercy, which starred Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson and Jamie Foxx.

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