Twitch co-founder and CEO Emmett Shear is resigning his post after a 16-year run atop the Amazon-owned livestreaming company.
In a blog post, Shear said President Dan Clancy would step into the CEO role, effective immediately. Shear plans to remain an advisor to Twitch. He said the recent birth of his son made him rethink his priorities and take stock of his professional path.
“Twitch has been a place of community for streamers and viewers, but also for me. Twitch has been like my family, the place I’ve spent more of my waking hours than anywhere else,” he wrote. “With the arrival of my son, the time has come for me to focus my energies on building that tiny little startup family, and I’m ready to dedicate my energies there. Twitch will always remain part of my extended family, a community where I grew in so many ways alongside Twitch itself.”
Amazon paid $1 billion to acquire Twitch in 2014. The site, which started off in 2007 as Justin.tv, achieved scale mostly by providing a place where online viewers could watch others play videogames. In recent years, it has looked to expand its horizons. Twitch was positioned as a key pillar of Amazon’s pitch to ad buyers at last spring’s NewFronts presentation, along with sports and general entertainment streamer Freevee. While the company doesn’t provide color as to exactly where ad dollars are flowing within its vast holdings, overall ad revenue in the fourth quarter rose 19% over the same period in 2021 to reach almost $11.6 billion.
Shear praised Amazon in his farewell post, calling the tech giant “the best acquirer I could have hoped for.” As a corporate parent, “Amazon truly supported us and really allowed a product as different as Twitch the room to grow and to be itself,” he added.