In a move straight out of the tech start-up handbook, Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise has decided to step down as chief executive of the gamer-focused YouTube channel he helped launch.
DeBevoise said he is looking for a professional manager who can help build a long-term, sustainable business, said people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly. DeBevoise will remain the company's chairman.
"Allen is a fantastic visionary and has really led the development of the online space," said Machinima board member Yair Landau. "This marks the transition to a more established company. He wants to step up as chairman and continue to provide vision, as we bring in a guy or a girl to work with him to manage some of the nuts and bolts of it."
Machinima is considered one of YouTube's success stories, attracting nearly 10 million subscribers and garnering a total of 4.6 billion video viewers. The size of its audience has allowed it to delve into ambitious original content, such as "Mortal Kombat: Legacy," a multi-part scripted drama, and the live-action series "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn," which tapped into appeal of video game franchises.
But the channel also has had layoffs in the last year, underscoring the challenges of capitalizing on its giant online audience. It's a familiar problem: One of the hottest tech companies around, IPO-bound Twitter, is losing money, even though it has attracted more than 200 million users.
Landau noted that Twitter's founders also sought a professional manager to oversee its growth.
DeBevoise was said to have been inspired by a video he saw recently showing a similar executive shift at LinkedIn, in which CEO Reed Hoffman voluntarily stepped aside to bring in an outside manager.
DeBevoise was unavailable for comment Friday on the executive change, which was first reported by AllThingsD.
The Machinima board recently began a search for the new chief executive, the knowledgeable person said. Meanwhile, DeBevoise remains actively involved and is helping raise a new round of funding.