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Twitch’s CEO is stepping down to spend time with his IRL family

Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch, has announced that he is stepping down from his role as head of the streaming platform via Twitter on Thursday. Shear has been with Amazon’s live streaming platform since its inception and has been the only CEO the company has ever had for more than 16 years. He is succeeded by Twitch President Dan Clancy, who took over as CEO immediately after announcing his resignation.

In a blog post shared on Twitter, Shear quoted that he wanted to spend more time with his young son and give him more time and effort. Going forward, Shear will continue to be involved with the company in an advisory role.

“It’s hard to put into words how much Twitch has been to me. Twitch has been a place of community for streamers and viewers, as well as me. Twitch has been like my family, the place where I’ve spent more of my waking hours than anywhere else. With the arrival of my son, the time has come for me to focus my energies on building that small startup family, and I’m ready to dedicate my energies to that,” Shear said in a tweet thread featuring images with text.

In his blog post about his firing, Shear talked about the platform’s history, his personal connection, likening the startup to a “family.” You can read the full thread below.

The Twitch we know today was founded under the name Justin.tv by Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel, Kyle Vogt and Justin Kan in 2007. The concept started with a content stunt: Kan livestreamed his entire life 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The stunt didn’t work, but a hunger for livestreaming content emerged and the same year the company announced it would open up for anyone to livestream.

In 2011, the team focused on the most popular piece of content, video games, and started a project called Twitch.tv. Fast forward to 2014, and the company was officially rebranded as Twitch Interactive and Amazon bought the platform for $1 billion in the same year. The live streaming platform saw a boom during the Covid-19 pandemicand today Shear touts that the platform has more than 8 million streamers per month.

Shear’s resignation comes at a precarious time for the platform. A range of popular streamers — including top names like Ludwig, Dr Lupo — have left the platforms after accepting deals with competitor YouTube. Additionally, Pokimane, who chose to remain with Twitch, announced later in September that she would not be leaving the platform, but that she would be streaming less.

The exits come on top of a slew of policy issues related to streaming on the platform. In September, the company announced it would change its name revenue share to 50/50 from 70/30, and lowering the revenue share for its top streamers. In another case, top streamers called out the platform for lax policies regarding gambling content on the platform. Twitch also had to respond to a deepfake scandaland it has been updated non-consensual exploitative image policy beginning of March.

Given everything that’s happened, it looks like Dan Clancy’s plate will be more than full when he takes up the position of new CEO.