AwesomenessTV co-founder and CEO Brian Robbins is stepping down from his post to pursue other ventures, he wrote to staffers today in a memo shared with Tubefilter.
“The time is right for me to pass the baton and seek new challenges,” he wrote. “We’ve exceeded any expectations I could have set when Joe [Davola] and I started this journey. What began as a YouTube channel has turned into a global brand and the essential next generation media company for Generation Z.”
Going forward, AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier will continue to lead the company, and he is currently seeking a new creative partner to help him co-pilot the ship. Robbins will stick around through this transition, he said. “Use this change to discover new talent, break boundaries, and have no fear,” Robbins urged his team. “I know that you all will continue to create awesomeness.”
His departure was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Robbins’ move follows the sale of DreamWorks Animation — AwesomenessTV’s parent company — to Comcast for $3.8 billion last April. Although Hollywood luminary Jeffrey Katzenberg, the former CEO of DreamWorks Animation, left his post following the acquisition, he did stay on for a short while as the chairman of a newly-formed new media division that included AwesomenessTV. However, Katzenberg relinquished that role last month after launching his own digital media and tech venture WndrCo, which has thus far raised $600 million in funding.
In addition to its flourishing YouTube channel, Awesomeness produces series and feature films for a whole host of social platforms and distribution outlets. It also comprises a multi-channel network of digital creators, the talent management company Big Frame, and Awestruck, a lifestyle brand for millennial moms.
AwesomenessTV was acquired by DreamWorks for $33 million in 2013, and then sold a 25% stake to Hearst for $81.25 million the following year. Last year, AwesomenessTV sold a 25% stake to Verizon in a deal valuing the Gen Z media brand at a reported $650 million. As part of that investment, Verizon and and AwesomenessTV were set to launch a new premium video service — though plans for that platform have since been scrapped.
Check out Robbins’ memo to AwesomenessTV staffers in full below:
After an amazing ride, five fantastic years building an awesome company and brand alongside an incredible team of people, the time is right for me to pass the baton and seek new challenges.
It’s not a decision I made lightly. I love AwesomenessTV and all of you; I will really miss coming in here every day. I’m enormously proud of what we have been able to build together.
We’ve exceeded any expectations I could have set when Joe and I started this journey. What began as a YouTube channel has turned into a global brand and the essential next generation media company for Generation Z.
AwesomenessTV is built to last and there is so much talent here who will carry this company forward, especially Brett who has been a partner with me nearly the entire time. He will continue to lead the company and, along with me, will find a creative partner to help continue the expansion of this business. I’ll be sticking around through the transition and Joe will be staying on in his role.
I will always carry this company in my heart and I am forever grateful to each of you for the hard work, dedication and love that you have put into our business. You should be proud of what we have built together, I certainly am. And I can’t wait to see what’s next for AwesomenessTV’s success.
This company was built on a culture of creativity. I urge you all to keep forging ahead on that road. Change creates opportunities for creativity to blossom. Use this change to discover new talent, break boundaries and have no fear. I know that you all will continue to create awesomeness.
Once again, thank you all for five unbelievable years.