Meet the 'YouTube Mafia' - the former Googlers still dominating the online video industry
Lara O'ReillyJul 17, 2015, 20:44 IST
So many former Googlers have gone on to join or create their own online video ventures that some of them jokingly call themselves the "YouTube Mafia."
And, with people spending more time watching video than ever before, and the time spent watching videos set to overtake time spent on social networks this year, according to eMarketer, it is little wonder many former YouTube execs went away to grab their own slice of the ever-growing pie.
We've picked out some of the most high-profile members of the YouTube Mafia - from its co-founders, to the former CFO, and top sales executives.
Chad Hurley is YouTube's co-founder and former CEO. He left Google in 2011 to create MixBit, a video editing app. He is also an investor in UK-based online video network AVOS.
Last year, three former Googlers —Dean Gilbert (VP and global head of content and operations,) Bing Chen (global head of creator development and management,) and Michael Todd (senior engineering manager) — formed Victorious, an online platform that lets big online stars create their own mobile apps. The company has signed deals with lots of high-profile YouTubers including Michelle Phan.
Victorious' chairman Dean Gilbert (previously a Google VP and global head of content and operations) also has several other video investments, including: Wochit, a short-form video platform; Joyus, a video commerce shopping platform; Tastemade, which allows people passionate about food and travel to share their experiences; and Vadio, which turns audio streams into video streams.
Patrick Walker was the senior director of YouTube for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and was at Google from 2006 to 2013. He's now the CEO of Rightster, a multi-channel network that posted $10.9 billion in revenue last year.
Bengu Atamer, who was YouTube's first hire in Europe, and former YouTube Europe business development exec Paola Marinone went off to form multi-channel network BuzzMyVideos., which claims more than 200 million video views per month.
In 2014 Twitter poached YouTube's former product director and global head of partnerships for educational and family content Baljeet Singh. He's now Twitter's product director and head of TV and video.
Christopher LaRosa used to be the YouTube product manager responsible for music. He's now a group product manager at Twitter, which is ramping up its video output, with autoplay videos in the feed and its live-streaming app Periscope.
George Strompolos is the founder and CEO of Fullscreen, a global studio and network for online video. He was at Google from 2004 to 2010, working on strategic partner development at YouTube.
Jed Simmons was the global head of news content partnerships for YouTube between 2011 and 2014. He now sits on the board of several video businesses including online television channel Mediakraft Networks, video creation platform Wochit, and YouTube multi-channel network X-treme Video.
Shiva Rajaraman was the product lead for YouTube viewer, and before that led its creator organization. In August last year, he became the VP of product at Spotify, which in May this year announced its new video streaming feature.
Gideon Yu was YouTube's chief financial officer who negotiated the company's $1.65 billion sale to Google in 2007. He went on to have a brief stint as Facebook's CFO. He is now the co-founder and CEO at EVA Automation, which is developing a connected device that aims to "re-imagine" the home audio/visual experience. And he's also the co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team.