SAN FRANCISCO — Emmett Shear, chief executive of live-streaming site Twitch, said Thursday he is stepping down, ending a 16-year tenure as co-founder of the platform popular with video game enthusiasts.
Mr. Shear said in a blog post He resigned because he had just had a baby. Twitch president Dan Clancy will take over as CEO, while Mr. Shear will remain with Twitch in an advisory role, he said.
“I often feel like Twitch is like a child I’ve been raising,” he wrote. “While I always wanted to be there if Twitch needed me, at 16 I felt like Twitch was ready to move out of the house and venture out on my own.”
Mr. Shear is leaving a platform that has been fraught with challenges, but one that has grown rapidly in recent years and become a cultural center of the video game world. Streamers who stream themselves playing games, cooking meals or chatting with fans can now attract thousands of viewers and make millions on the Amazon-owned site.
The platform launched in 2007 as Justin.tv, a live-streaming project following the life of Justin Kam, who founded the site with Mr. Hill and two others. Mr Hill wrote that he “thought at the time that we were likely to fail and give up in less than a year’s time.”
Instead, the site became a hub for live video, morphing into Twitch in 2011, a place for video gamers to stream their games. In 2014, Amazon bought the site for $1 billion.
As Twitch grows, it faces the same issues as other social platforms, such as how it should police harmful content and keep users happy. It also faces questions about how best to cater to its star content creators, many of whom have been lured to rival platforms such as YouTube.Over the past few years, Twitch creators have accused the platform of protecting them from stalkers and Internet harassmentAnd complain that the site takes too much of their revenue.
Despite the controversy, Twitch continues to thrive. The site now attracts 7 million streamers per month and 31 million viewers per day.
Now, Mr Clancy, who already runs the site’s day-to-day operations, will take over. A longtime Google employee and Nextdoor executive, he lacks the video game background of Mr. Shear, an avid StarCraft player.
“It’s an advantage and a disadvantage,” Mr. Clancy said of his lack of gaming background in an interview last year. “That’s an advantage because I don’t come to Twitch with these preconceived ideas about Twitch.”