RYOT co-founder and head of brand Molly DeWolf Swenson is leaving Verizon’s content unit Oath by the end of the year. DeWolf Swenson announced her departure at Variety’s Innovate Summit in Los Angeles Wednesday, saying that it came “after a number of months of reflections on my personal ambitions.”
DeWolf Swenson co-founded RYOT over five years ago, and stayed with the company after its sale to the Huffington Post in early 2016. “My departure comes at a time when RYOT’s impact and its future have never been more certain,” she said.
RYOT tripled its staff since the acquisition, and this summer became Oath’s branded content group. The subsidiary has also launched a labs unit to produce branded VR and AR content, including a brand-sponsored comedy dubbed “Door No. 1” that it is currently producing for Hulu.
DeWolf Swenson said that she originally came to VR as a way to drive social change by telling stories that have a deep impact on their viewers. Asked how social engagement and branded content fit together, she replied: “Advertising dollars can have a dual purpose. They can sell your products, and they can make the world better.”
Earlier this week, Variety broke the news that Swenson joined former Hulu VR executive Noah Heller for a new Los Angeles-based tech investment fund called 3Rodeo as a venture partner.
DeWolf Swenson’s departure announcement comes just days after Tumblr founder David Karp announced his departure from the company.