YouTube CEO & Co-Founder Stepping Down

Five years after co-founding YouTube, long-time CEO Chad Hurley is stepping down from that position, according to TechCrunch. In fact, he’s reportedly been transitioning away from the chief executive role for the last two years, ceding most day-to-day business decisions to Google (s GOOG) VP of Product Management Salar Kamangar.

That Hurley, who founded the online video site with Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in early 2005, would be moving on is not totally unexpected. After all, he hasn’t been a public figurehead for YouTube for quite some time. The bigger surprise is probably that Hurley has held on so long after making a bundle from Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of the online video site in 2006.

Co-founder Steve Chen left his role as CTO of YouTube in late 2008, but remained with Google; apparently Hurley transitioned away from his duties at around the same time.

YouTube is now being led primarily by Kalamangar, who is famously known as Google Employee No. 9. He has been tasked with helping to move YouTube from a very large and popular unprofitable business to one that can use its size and scale to make some serious dough.

Google is shy about sharing too many details on YouTube’s financials, though the site is reportedly serving up more than 2 billion videos a day, and monetizing about 2 billion of those video plays per week. While that means about one in seven videos viewed actually has an ad attached, it’s unclear how long it will be before the site actually starts turning a profit for Google.

Some analysts expected that YouTube could become profitable this year with nearly $1 billion in revenues. Although Google execs have spent the last several earning calls bragging about how the site is monetizing well — and has been for some time — they’ve yet to say that YouTube has actually turned a profit.

The day YouTube actually does start making a profit will be a huge one for the web video industry; despite massive amounts of money being poured into the segment, it has had very few huge success stories to date. A profitable YouTube would not just be a validation for Google and it’s $1.65 billion investment, but for the industry as a whole.

To learn more about what YouTube is up to now, come see Director of Product Management Hunter Walk at NewTeeVee Live on Nov. 10 in San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble.

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