Robert Kyncl will exit YouTube in early 2023 after more than 12 years as a senior exec at video giant. He most recently served at YouTube’s chief business officer, helping to grow it into a multibillion-dollar powerhouse.
Kyncl’s departure was announced in a memo Monday to YouTube staff by CEO Susan Wojcicki, a copy of which was obtained by Variety.
Kyncl is leaving “to start the next chapter in his career,” Wojcicki wrote. “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.”
Succeeding Kyncl in the chief business officer role effective Oct. 3 will be Mary Ellen Coe, a 10-year Google veteran who most recently has served as president of Google Customer Solutions, overseeing the internet company’s global ads business for midmarket and small businesses. Prior to joining Google in 2012, Coe was a partner with McKinsey & Co. for 12 years advising consumer, media and tech companies. She serves on the board of Merck & Co. and was on the board of Whole Foods when the grocery chain was acquired by Amazon.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Mary Ellen over the years and she is a smart, effective leader who cares deeply about our users, partners and her people,” Wojcicki wrote in the memo.
Kyncl, amid his successes in driving engagement and revenue at YouTube, also has had some misses. He led the creation of YouTube’s original content team, initially aimed at forming the basis of YouTube’s subscription service and become a rival to Netflix or Hulu. That didn’t pan out — and YouTube has wound down most of its original entertainment projects. Prior to joining YouTube in 2010, Kyncl worked at Netflix for more than seven years, most recently serving as VP of content.
Read Wojcicki’s memo to YouTube staff:
After 12 years of building YouTube’s business organization into the powerhouse that it is today, with a talented global team, millions of successful creators, and strong partnerships with many industries, Robert has decided to leave YouTube in 2023 to start the next chapter in his career. 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. 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. We owe so much of our growth and impact to Robert’s leadership, and I want to celebrate his amazing contribution to YouTube.
Change gives us the opportunity to examine where we are and where we need to go, and I’m really excited to share that we’ve hired a new Chief Business Officer, Mary Ellen Coe, to lead the business organization. Mary Ellen has spent the last 10 years with Google, most recently as President of Customer Solutions in GBO, serving millions of customers and thousands of partners globally. She has extensive experience working with small businesses and can bring that expertise to our work with creators, many of whom are their own small businesses. Before Google, she worked across consumer, media, and tech for more than a decade as a Partner with McKinsey & Company. I’ve had the privilege of working with Mary Ellen over the years and she is a smart, effective leader who cares deeply about our users, partners and her people. She will start October 3, and Christina, Gautam, Lyor, Pedro, Tara, and our recently hired VP of Product Partnerships, Miguel, will report to her.
Given the complexity of our business, I appreciate that Robert is going to stay on to ensure a smooth transition of leadership and complete key projects in music and product partnerships.
I want to thank Robert for his dedication to YouTube all these years. He’s exceptional at what he does and I’m so grateful for the many years we’ve been able to work together. I’ll miss his candor, authenticity and humor.
And please join me in welcoming Mary Ellen to YouTube.