Brian Robbins, co-founder and CEO of AwesomenessTV, is leaving the multi-channel network after five years. AwesomenessTV became a fast-growing digital brand when Robbins and Joe Davola launched it as a YouTube Channel in 2012. A year later, the company was acquired by DreamWorks Animation for $33 million in cash in one of the largest deals of its kind at that time. Two years later, Hearst bought a 25% stake in the company.
AwesomenessTV’s ownership changed again last spring, when Verizon bought a 24.5% stake, and last summer, when NBCUniversal completed its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. Verizon and AwesomenessTV planned a premium video venture, which was recently scrapped. After building the company from scratch, I hear Robbins felt it was time to leave and do something new.
Here is his note to the staff:
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.