YouTube’s top business executive is stepping down from his post as Google’s streaming giant faces an escalating threat from TikTok.
Robert Kyncl, a veteran executive who has spent more than 12 years at the company, announced his plans to leave the company late Monday.
“After 12 incredible years, I’ve decided to move on to the next challenge soon,” Kyncl wrote on Twitter. “Working alongside creators, artists, media and music companies to transform media has been a privilege.”
He will be replaced in October by Mary Ellen Coe, who currently oversees Google’s advertising deals with small and medium businesses.
Kyncl’s exit comes as YouTube faces slowing growth and increasing competition from TikTok within the coveted Gen Z demographic.
A Pew research poll published this month showed that a whopping 95% of US teens said they use YouTube, making it the most popular app or site in the survey. But YouTube was followed by TikTok, which was used by 67% of teens, as the Chinese-owned app eats up an increasing share of young people’s time online and threatens Big Tech mainstays like YouTube and Meta’s Instagram.
Both YouTube and Instagram have copied TikTok’s short-video scroll interface through features called “Shorts” and “Reels,” respectively, in an effort to hold onto young users.
Kyncl, who worked at Netflix prior to joining YouTube in 2010, did not immediately reveal what he plans to do after leaving the company.
Google confirmed Kyncl’s departure to The Post but did not provide further comment.
Kyncl’s departure was first reported by Variety, which published a memo from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
“Under his leadership, YouTube forged new relationships and partnerships in music, traditional media and tech, and our creator ecosystem — without him, the term ‘YouTuber’ wouldn’t be a mainstream term,” Wojcicki wrote. “Thanks to Robert and his leadership team, we are meaningfully contributing to the media industry, having paid more than $30B to creators, artists and media companies in the last 3 years.”
Wojcicki added that Kyncl will stay with the company through early 2023 in order to help “ensure a smooth transition of leadership.”