Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming, is leaving the video platform after seven years to join Polygon Technology, which provides developers a framework for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks.
Also exiting YouTube are Heather Rivera, VP and global head of product partnerships, and Jamie Byrne, senior director of creator partnerships, Variety has confirmed. The news was first reported by Tubefilter.
Wyatt announced the move on social media Tuesday, saying next month will be his last at YouTube. Before joining YouTube in 2014, he was VP of gaming at esports company Major League Gaming (now part of Activision Blizzard). Prior to that he served as head of live and esports at YouTube multichannel network Machinima.
“I will miss YouTube dearly, but it is time for me to pursue other endeavors in life and where my passions are taking me,” Wyatt wrote. “I am fascinated by blockchain app development and am beyond thrilled to enter the web3 space. I am elated to announce that I will be joining Polygon Technology as their CEO of Polygon Technology Studios.”
At Polygon Studios, Wyatt said, he will focus on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing and developer support and on “bridging the gap between Web2 and Web3.”
“I’ll be leading the Polygon Studios organization across Gaming, Entertainment, Fashion, News, Sports, and more. I’m excited to work with developers and builders across the Polygon ecosystem and I’ll be sharing more about my journey over the coming months,” he wrote.
YouTube confirmed Wyatt’s departure but didn’t say who will be taking over the role as head of gaming.
“Like many other companies, we’ve seen some of our people choose a new direction in the new year,” a YouTube rep said in a statement. “We are also fortunate to have a deep bench of talented leaders to take our business forward. We thank Ryan for his incredible contribution to YouTube over the years and can’t wait to see what he does next.”
Gaming has been a big driver of YouTube’s growth. In the first half of the 2021, YouTube had more than 800 billion gaming-related views, over 90 million hours of livestreaming gaming content, and more than 250 million uploads.