SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Emmett Shear, chief executive of the streaming site Twitch, said Thursday he was resigning, ending a 16-year tenure for the co-founder of the platform favored by video game enthusiasts.
mr shear said in a blog post that she was retiring because she had just had a child. He said that Dan Clancy, the president of Twitch, would take over as CEO and that Mr. Shear would remain with Twitch as an advisor.
“Twitch often feels like a child I’ve been raising too,” Shear wrote. “And while I’ll always want to be there if Twitch needs me, at 16 I feel like Twitch is ready to move on and venture out alone.”
Mr. Shear leaves a platform with great challenges, but also one that has grown drastically in recent years and has become the cultural center of the world of video games. Now, live streamers who broadcast gaming, cooking or chatting with fans can draw audiences in the thousands and earn millions of dollars on the site, which is owned by Amazon.
The platform started in 2007 as Justin.tv, a live streaming project that follows the life of Justin Kan, who started the site along with Mr. Shear and two others. Mr. Shear wrote that he “thought at the time that we would probably fail and give up in less than a year.”
Instead, the site became a hub for live video and became Twitch in 2011, a place where video game players would stream their gameplay. In 2014, Amazon bought the site for $1 billion.
As Twitch grew, it faced the same questions as other social platforms, including how it should regulate harmful content and keep its users happy. It also faces the additional question of how best to serve its star content creators, many of whom have been lured to rival platforms like YouTube. In recent years, Twitch creators have criticized the platform for not doing enough to protect them from bullies and online bullyingand complained that the site takes too high a portion of your earnings.
Despite the controversy, Twitch has continued to thrive. The site now attracts seven million streamers each month and 31 million viewers daily.
Now, Mr. Clancy, who already ran the day-to-day operations of the site, will take over. A longtime Google employee and Nextdoor executive, he lacks the gaming experience of Mr. Shear, an avid player of the game StarCraft.
“It’s a strength and a weakness,” Mr. Clancy said of his lack of gaming experience in an interview last year. “It’s a strength because I don’t come to Twitch with these preconceptions of Twitch.”