Chad Hurley isn't really YouTube CEO anymore

Ronny Kerr · October 29, 2010 · Short URL:

YouTube co-founder reveals that Google VP Salar Kamangar has taken over daily operations

Chad Hurley

YouTube co-founder and CEO Chad Hurley revealed Thursday night that he is currently transitioning from his role as CEO to an advisory position. Salar Kamangar, who is still listed as VP of Web applications on Google’s corporate information page, now handles daily operations at YouTube, according to Hurley.

It’s only a little unusual that he has stuck around as chief (in name) of the Google subsidiary well past its fifth birthday.

Hurley founded YouTube in 2005 with two other former PayPal employees, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Less than two years after its founding, the video site was sold to Google for $1.65 billion.

Though Chen dropped his CTO title in late 2008, he continues to work at Google, presumably on projects related to the video site he helped produce. Karim went on to form a fund called Youniversity Ventures, aimed at helping students and first-time entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality. (Youniversity partners include Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz and Slide executive Keith Rabois.)

Hurley, on the other hand, has little interest in entering the world of angel investing. He seems averse to what he calls the “angel bubble” today seen in Silicon Valley.

The quiet revelation comes at an interesting time.

Google reported excellent third quarter earnings two weeks ago, especially regarding its newer forays into display and mobile advertising. Display ads, which include advertising on YouTube, are bringing in $2.5 billion per year. Though it’s not quite obvious how much of that figure comes exclusively from YouTube, SVP Jonathan Rosenberg says the video site is monetizing over two billion page views per week, up 50 percent year-over-year.

Is YouTube profitability just around the corner? Maybe, but it would be a long-time coming. In May, YouTube said it was delivering two billion views daily, which, combined with Rosenberg’s figure, means the site is monetizing about one in seven days’ worth of video. Google will have to do better than that if it intends on making free video permanently profitable.

Of course, Hurley’s stepping away from his title as CEO has little to do with the company’s approaching profitability, but it’s still a nice poetic touch. Captain didn’t abandon ship until he knew it wouldn’t sink. And he’s not really leaving at all; he’ll be invested in the site’s future for awhile.

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