YouTube’s head of gaming and two other executives are leaving

Three YouTube executives are moving on from the platform, including head of gaming Ryan Wyatt. Senior director of creator partnerships Jamie Byrne and vice president and global head of product partnerships Heather Rivera are departing too.

“Like many other companies, we’ve seen some of our people choose a new direction in the new year,” YouTube told Tubefilter. “We are also fortunate to have a deep bench of talented leaders to take our business forward. We thank Heather, Jamie, and Ryan for their incredible contribution to YouTube over the years and can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Wyatt, who also led YouTube’s virtual and augmented reality projects, joined Google in 2014 after a career in esports and live events. He said on Twitter that he’s leaving YouTube in the coming weeks to join Polygon Technology, a company in the Web3 space, where he’ll head up the Polygon Studios division.

Wyatt wrote that he’ll be “focused on growing the developer ecosystem through investment, marketing and developer support.” He’ll oversee gaming, entertainment, fashion, news, sports and other areas for Polygon Studios.

During Wyatt’s tenure, YouTube has added a number of features to cater to gaming-focused creators and viewers, such as subscriptions, Super Chat and clips. In 2020, YouTube secured the rights to stream Call of Duty League and Overwatch League events for three years. The service has also lured several high-profile streamers away from Twitch over the last few years, including Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar and Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo.

Byrne had been with YouTube since 2006 and most recently was overseeing areas like creator acquisitions and Shorts partnerships. According to Tubefilter, he’s joining NFT endeavor Bright Moments to lead operations and partnerships — just as it seems YouTube may be getting into NFTs. Rivera, meanwhile, was involved in growing ad-supported and subscription businesses, such as YouTube TV.

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