Emmett Shear, who has been the CEO of Twitch since its inception over sixteen years ago, announced his resignation from the head of the live streaming platform via a blog post on March 16, 2023. Twitch's president, Dan Clancy, who has been with the platform since 2019, will take on the CEO role at the company in a leadership shift that’s effective immediately.
This news has spread all over the world’s mass media. What's really behind this?
The reason for this decision seems quite simple...
Shear cited wanting to spend more time with his young son and will continue to be involved with the company in an advisory role. His desire - is quite natural, and, of course, it can be understood. By his age, he had achieved much. After all, back in 2012, Emmett Shear was included in Forbes Magazine on their "30 under 30" list.
The fact that Twitch's president was elevated after Emmett Shear resigned wasn't entirely unexpected, as Dan Clancy had already been heavily involved in the company's daily operations and had acted as a public representative for some of its key discussions. Probably this decision was coming to Shear gradually.
On March 16, Emmett Shear tweeted:
“In October 2006 we started working on live video for the internet. That became Twitch. More than 16 years later, I'm now a father and ready to move to my next phase of life. I wrote a blog post, but the short version is: thank you so much to everyone who built this with me”.
Following the departure of Twitch’s COO Kevin Lin on November 2020, Emmett Shear was the only co-founder still at the company. So we have to understand that he has a personal connection to Twitch and described it as a “family” in his resignation blog post:
“Twitch will always remain part of my extended family, a community where I grew in so many ways alongside Twitch itself”.
Twitch was founded in March 2007 under the name Justin.tv by Emmett Shear and Justin Kan, Michael Seibel, Kyle Vogt, and it was officially rebranded as Twitch Interactive in August 2014 after Amazon bought the platform for $970 million.
The platform has seen growth during the pandemic and now boasts over 8 million streamers a month. In 2014 The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) called the Twitch platform the 4th largest peak internet traffic in the U.S. Like Emmett Shear said, “Interactive live video on the internet has turned out to be a pretty good idea”.
Shear's resignation comes at a difficult time for the platform, as popular streamers like Ludwig (Ludwig Anders Ahgren) or DrLupo (Benjamin Lupo) have left for its competitor YouTube, and there have been policy issues related to live streaming content.
Remember at least the last year`s uproar around Twitch due to the reducing top streamers' revenue share from 70/30 to 50/50 or dissatisfaction with the gambling content ban situation.
That's why, Dan Clancy will probably have a lot of work to do when he takes over as CEO.
As this story develops, we shall see...