Audible Studios original content chief announces departure

Zola Mashariki to remain in transitional role through the middle of October

Audible Studios executive Zola Mashariki is stepping down from her role as head of the division after holding the position for two years, according to reports from Deadline

In her role at the company, Mashariki reported to Audible chief content officer Rachel Ghiazza, and drove the company’s original content strategy. This included shows like singing competition podcast Breakthrough with Sara Bareilles and Kelly Rowland, and talent-drive series like fiction podcast Impact Winter starring A-list actors Holliday Grainer, Bella Ramsey, and more. 

Mashariki is expected to continue working through to the middle of October oversee the company’s content strategy in a transitional capacity. There are no further details yet about who will be replacing Mashariki following her departure, or what her next role might be. 

Mashariki first joined Audible’s team in 2021 where she brought in over two decades of experience in TV and film production, having previously served senior roles in the industry including chief content officer at Good Films LLC, head of original programming and executive vice president at BET, and senior vice president of production at Fox Searchlight. 

Ghiazza called Mashariki “a profoundly gifted executive” in a statement when she was first appointed. “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.”

Since her appointment, Audible has continued to grow its podcast slate with original content as part of its growth strategy, including new and returning fiction podcasts starring A-list actors like Moriarty: The Silent Order now starring Helen Mirren, and a David Copperfield adaptation starring Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa as well as others, such as an official Are You Afraid of The Dark? companion podcast in partnership with Nickelodeon.

Ghiazza was recently promoted to her role as chief content officer in July, after previously serving as executive vice president of content. Her current responsibilities include overseeing Audible’s portfolio of podcasts including development and partnerships and audiobooks as well as growing the company’s global audience.