Business Technology

Sunday 22 April 2018

YouTube chief and co-founder 'steps down'

Chad Hurley was invited to the engagement of Kanye and Kim
Chad Hurley was invited to the engagement of Kanye and Kim

Emma Barnett

Chad Hurley, YouTube’s co-founder and chief executive, is stepping down from his position at the helm of the company and will take on an advisory role instead.

Speaking at a technology event in Dublin last night, Hurley said: “I am transitioning now into the role of advisor. It is something that I have been working on for the last two years.”

He founded what is now the world’s largest video-sharing site with Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in February 2005, after a career at Paypal.

Google snapped up the popular service in 2006 for $1.65bn and now employs more than 600 people to look after YouTube.

Hurley revealed at Founders, the annual gathering of technology entrepreneurs in Ireland, that he would have loved for YouTube to remain independent, and is now looking to start a new company which would be “something that I would use and others would find useful too”, he said.

In a rare interview with the British media, Hurley spoke to The Telegraph earlier this year and was bullish about his ambitions for YouTube to become a major TV platform.

"People think about the world of TV and the world of online video as being different ways to distribute video. But what happens when every TV is connected to wi-fi with a browser? What does that mean for your distribution opportunities? What happens when those worlds collide and it is just one thing? Instead there is just one world, the world of video, and people everywhere are putting ads against everything and there isn't a difference. There won't be a difference in the future,” he said.

Salar Kamangar, vice president of product management for YouTube, said that the business would be very profitable in the future as content creators – from people revealing their shopping habits to global media players such as Disney and Sony – find new ways to monetise their content.

"Although YouTube is the most successful video platform, the number of minutes watched, 10-15 minutes a day, is small when compared to the five hours watched on the TV set," he said. "It's hard for me to imagine that in five to 10 years from now most of the content we consume won't be delivered over the internet.

"Once the number of minutes is large enough that brings along with it a whole new set of revenue opportunities such as the future of the way people buy TV ads, the ads purchasing process, the way you track it and report it."

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