BitTorrent Reportedly Fires Co-CEOs, Shutters Streaming Service
BitTorrent is doing some executive unbundling after removing co-CEOs Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson, less than six months into their tenures. The company is also sunsetting its short-lived streaming service BitTorrent Now, an app that was billed as an “artist-first, people-powered platform, focused on creativity and community rather than abundance.”
The news was delivered earlier this week in a staff email by BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen, who said CFO Dipak Joshi will fill in as interim CEO. According to Variety, which obtained the memo, the company is also closing a production studio in Los Angeles. A number of other employees were let go and Delamar and Johnson were removed from the company’s board of directors.
Both the LA studio and the co-CEOs were announced in April as part of a company-wide push to focus on media production. The BitTorrent Now app launched in late June and was updated as recently at Sept. 15 to correct “a very large number" of bugs to improve load time and cut down on crashes. The app, still available for download, describes itself as a “rabbit hole of on-demand songs, stories, and more for fans looking for that next best thing.”
"More than anything, we're doing this to inspire publishers and to showcase what our technology can do," Johnson told Billboard in August.
During Delamar and Johnson’s brief tenure, the company launched BitTorrent Live, an app featuring 16 channels of live streaming content from independent video producers. It also capitalized on July’s Republican National Convention to debut its BitTorrent News app. On Twitter, Delamar congratulated the BTN news team on the night of the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Amazing tech,” he said, and as recently as Monday (Oct. 3), BitTorrent debuted an interview between Johnson and Snowden director Oliver Stone.
Delamar has already removed BitTorrent as his current job on his Linkedin profile. Johnson, who previously worked at Sony Online Entertainment, has not. BitTorrent has not responded to a request for comment.