Shondaland is expanding its development team, hiring former Paramount executive Annie Laks as SVP Creative Content and promoting Marco Esquivel to Director, Creative Content. Both will report to Alison Eakle, Head of Fiction & Non-Fiction Content.
Laks will be responsible for identifying, pursuing and tracking new talent and projects. She will also work closely with creatives to help shepherd development of current projects on Shondaland’s expanding Netflix slate.
“Annie joins our team after an outstanding career in development that has afforded her a unique perspective given her broad range of experience,” said Shondaland producing partner Betsy Beers. “As Shondaland continues to expand its slate and partnership with Netflix, we’re excited to tap into Annie’s keen understanding of varied audiences and her deep relationships within the creative community.”
As Director of Creative Content, Esquivel will help facilitate the development of all new Shondaland projects, including fostering writer and talent relationships and identifying scripted and unscripted development opportunities. He will also oversee Shondaland’s continued diversity & inclusion initiative as it relates to the company’s writer and director hiring for all shows.
Eakle added, “Marco has played an integral part in some of the brand’s most recent successes. Not only does he have proven understanding of our voice, but he also has deep understanding of the content landscape and will be key as we usher in the next wave of Shondaland storytelling.”
Prior to joining Shondaland, Laks spent nine years at Paramount Pictures where she started as a creative executive in live action features, working on projects such as Up in the Air, Flight, No Strings Attached, Guilt Trip, and Footloose. Most recently, Laks served as SVP of Production for Paramount Animation where she worked on Paramount’s tentpole animation and hybrid features, including Spongebob: Spongebob Out of Water. Laks began her career in publicity at MGM.
Esquivel has climbed the ranks at Shondaland as a trusted member of the team, helping develop both For The People and Station 19 for ABC.
Shondaland founder Shonda Rhimes and producing partner Betsy Beers are behind Shondaland’s award-winning Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, For The People and Station 19. After a long tenure at ABC Studios, Shondaland inked a mega multi-year deal with Netflix in 2017 to produce content exclusively for the internet entertainment service.