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The company behind the annual online video conference known as VidCon has appointed longtime programming executive Jim Louderback as its full-time CEO during its year of global expansion.
As part of the appointment, VidCon founder Hank Green is transitioning to become chairman of company, a position that will allow the entrepreneur and YouTube vlogger more time to focus on creator-centric aspects of the event.
Green, who has been running VidCon since the first gathering in 2010 drew 1,400 YouTubers and online video professionals, tells The Hollywood Reporter that he has long looked for someone who could assume full-time responsibilities over the event. “It wasn’t so much the right time as the right person,” he says.
Louderback has served as editorial director of VidCon’s industry programming track for the last three years. He was previously CEO of online video network Revision3 and became general manager of Discovery Digital Networks after he sold Revision3 to the media company in 2012. He has also served as editor in chief at PC Magazine.
“VidCon is such an amazing event and community that when Hank reached out to me and said, ‘Do you want to do this?’ it didn’t take much more than 10 seconds to say ‘yes,'” says Louderback.
VidCon began as an event largely to help YouTube creators connect with one another and their fans, but over the last seven years has grown significantly through its three programming tracks — for industry executives, online creators and fans. Earlier this summer, the flagship event in Anaheim, Calif., drew more than 30,000 people and 70 sponsors. This year, VidCon also expanded internationally with events in Europe and Australia.
Louderback says much of his focus will be on continuing VidCon’s growth. “VidCon is really about celebrating, connecting and democratizing the creativity economy,” he explains, adding that in the future, different VidCon events could choose to focus more on different parts of the industry, be it the fans or the creators. Louderback will also continue to work on the industry portion of the event.
Meanwhile, Green, who runs the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel with his brother, John, will continue to devote his attention to the creator programming track and to ensuring the overall quality of the experience for VidCon guests. “My expertise is large-scale problem solving,” he says. “When you have so many stakeholders who need to be considered, like VidCon does, there is a lot of balancing that has to be done. I will still be thinking hard about those big, hairy things and the large-scale vision.”
In addition to Louderback’s appointment, VidCon has also named Michael Gardner as chief strategy officer to oversee the event’s expansion into new markets and Colin Hickey as chief operating officer to run the existing events. UTA will continue to manage VidCon’s business development, including working with sponsors and strategic partners.
VidCon Australia will take place Sept. 9-10 in Melbourne. The U.S. event will be held June 20-23.
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