Peter Kafka

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YouTube's Chad Hurley Makes It Official: He's Moving From CEO to "Advisor"

YouTube CEO Chad Hurley plans to step down from his position and take on an advisory role, he announced at an industry event today.

The move will be a formal acknowledgment of a practical reality: The video site is already under the day-to-day control of Google veteran Salar Kamangar, and industry insiders have been speculating that Hurley would step out for more than a year. Hurley himself told TechCrunch’s Robin Wauters that he’s been a de facto advisor for the past two years.

Hurley’s departure means that all three of YouTube’s co-founders have moved on. Jawed Karim had left the company before Google acquired it for $1.65 billion in 2006, and Steve Chen left his spot as chief technology officer in the fall of 2008. No word on what Hurley’s next full-time gig will be.

UPDATE: Hurley’s official statement, released via Google tonight, reiterates what he’s already said onstage–“For the past two years, I’ve taken on more of an advisory role at YouTube as Salar Kamangar has led the company’s day-to-day operations. I will continue to serve in an advisory capacity and am excited to witness the next phase of YouTube’s growth.”

Here’s Hurley and Chen in what still may be my favorite YouTube video, shot shortly after they sold their start-up:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work