YouTube Loses Pair of Executives to Web 3

The long-time Googlers announced their departures on the same day YouTube’s CEO hinted at NFT plans.

AccessTimeIconJan 25, 2022 at 7:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 9, 2022 at 9:25 p.m. UTC

Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

Two YouTube executives announced their departures from the Google-owned company with plans to pursue Web 3 ventures on Tuesday, based on tweets from their personal accounts.

The departures come on the same day as CEO Susan Wojcicki issued an open letter saying YouTube is looking into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a way to help creators monetize their content.

The first exec to announce their departure was YouTube’s head of gaming, Ryan Wyatt, who will be joining Polygon as the CEO of Polygon Studios.

“[Wyatt’s] strategy of forging strong relationships with game developers and the creator economy will be critical to Polygon Technology as we continue to scale our support for companies globally to begin their foray into the web3 space,“ Shreyansh Singh, head of Polygon Studios, told CoinDesk through a spokesperson.

Wyatt cited being “fascinated by blockchain app development” as reason for the departure, adding that he is “beyond thrilled to enter the web3 space,” according to the tweet.

Wyatt began his tenure with YouTube’s gaming division in 2014. His role at Polygon will be “bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3,” leading Polygon Studios in the areas of gaming, sports, news and entertainment.

Wyatt is departing YouTube alongside the company’s senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne, who announced in a Tuesday tweet he will be joining NFT platform Bright Moments in a leadership role.

The pair of resignations underscores the influx of Web 2 talent rushing into the Web 3 space, with gaming and NFT companies seeing particularly notable growth.

YouTube’s global head of product partnerships, Heather Rivera, has also departed the company, a representative told CoinDesk, though her next move has yet to be announced publicly.

UPDATE (Jan. 25, 20:30 UTC): Adds comment from Polygon’s Shreyansh Singh.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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Eli is a news reporter for CoinDesk. He holds ETH, SOL and AVAX.

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