Robert Kyncl will leave YouTube in early 2023 after more than 12 years as a senior executive at the video giant. He most recently served as YouTube’s chief business officer, helping build it into a multibillion-dollar powerhouse.
Kyncl’s departure was announced in a memo Monday to YouTube staff by CEO Susan Wojcicki, a copy of which was obtained by Variety.
Kyncl is leaving “to begin the next chapter of his career,” Wojcicki wrote. “Under his leadership, YouTube forged new relationships and partnerships across music, traditional media and technology, and our ecosystem of creators. Without him, the term ‘YouTuber’ would not be a conventional term”.
Mary Ellen Coe, a 10-year Google veteran who most recently served as president of Google Customer Solutions, oversaw the Internet company’s global advertising business for small and medium businesses. Before joining Google in 2012, Coe was a partner at McKinsey & Co. for 12 years advising consumer, media and technology companies. She is a board member of Merck & Co. and was on the board of Whole Foods when Amazon acquired the supermarket chain.
“I have had the privilege of working with Mary Ellen over the years and she is a smart and effective leader who cares deeply about our users, partners and her people,” Wojcicki wrote in the memo.
Kyncl, amid its successes in driving engagement and revenue on YouTube, has also had some failings. He led the creation of YouTube’s original content team, initially intended to form the basis of YouTube’s subscription service and become a rival to Netflix or Hulu. That didn’t work out, and YouTube has canceled most of its original entertainment projects. Before joining YouTube in 2010, Kyncl worked at Netflix for more than seven years, most recently serving as Vice President of Content.
Read Wojcicki’s memo to YouTube staff:
After 12 years of building the YouTube business organization into the powerhouse it is today, with a talented global team, millions of successful creators, and strong partnerships with many industries, Robert has decided to leave YouTube in 2023 to begin the next chapter in his career. . Under his leadership, YouTube forged new relationships and partnerships across music, traditional media and technology, and our ecosystem of creators. Without him, the term “YouTuber” would not be a conventional term. Thanks to Robert and his leadership team, we are making a significant contribution to the media industry, having paid out over $30 billion to creators, artists and media companies in the last 3 years. We owe much of our growth and impact to Robert’s leadership, and I want to celebrate his incredible contribution to YouTube.
The change gives us an opportunity to examine where we are and where we need to go, and I am very excited to share that we have hired a new business director, Mary Ellen Coe, to lead the business organization. Mary Ellen has spent the last 10 years with Google, most recently as President of Customer Solutions at GBO, serving millions of customers and thousands of partners around the world. She has extensive experience working with small businesses and she can bring that experience to our work with creators, many of whom are her own small businesses. Prior to Google, she worked in consumer, media and technology for more than a decade as a partner at McKinsey & Company. I have had the privilege of working with Mary Ellen over the years and she is a smart and effective leader who cares deeply about our users, partners and her people. She will start on October 3, and Christina, Gautam, Lyor, Pedro, Tara, and our recently hired VP of Product Partnerships, Miguel, will report to her.
Given the complexity of our business, I appreciate Robert staying on to ensure a smooth leadership transition and complete key projects in music and product partnerships.
I want to thank Robert for his dedication to YouTube all these years. He is exceptional at what he does and I am so grateful for the many years we have been able to work together. I will miss his frankness, authenticity and humor.
And please join me in welcoming Mary Ellen to YouTube.