Kerry Trainor is stepping down as CEO of Vimeo after about four years at the helm, with Joey Levin, CEO of parent company IAC, serving as Vimeo’s interim chief as the video-sharing service seeks a long-term replacement, according to multiple media reports.
Trainor, who is staying on as an advisor and will help with the search for his replacement, announced his departure in a memo to staffers Tuesday, telling them he plans to “live life for a bit while working with a few companies as a board member until I’m ready to announce my next full-time project.”
Updated: Vimeo confirmed Trainor's planned exit and Levin's interim role at the company.
Trainor, who is late of AOL and Yahoo, noted in the memo that Vimeo has more than 280 million monthly users and over 710,000 subscribers. Vimeo is set to generate about $81.1 million in 2016, and $103.9 million in 2018, Deadline.com reported, citing a report from BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon.
"After more than four awesome years of growth and evolution, I’ve decided it’s time to step back from Vimeo," Trainor said in the memo. "This wasn’t an easy choice as I love Vimeo to its core – to its creative, inspiring, insanely wonderful (and sometimes just wonderfully insane) core. I’m so proud to have been part of this incredible team and I know Vimeo’s best times are yet ahead."
Trainor is also setting his exit as Vimeo was looking to expand further into the world of subscription-based OTT services by acquiring VHX, a company that makes a white-label video platform. Vimeo soon followed up that deal by enabling in-app subscriptions for branded apps.
In a recent interview (subscription required), Trainor was bullish about Vimeo's future, noting that the VHX acquisition positioned Vimeo to provide “one of the best, truly open, truly global platforms out there for creators.”
He also discussed the competitive makeup of the OTT landscape. “We believe that there’s going to be a flourishing world of niche channels that will be reaching their audiences with premium, paid, ad-free services though open platforms, and that is the home and the platform that Vimeo is building. We want Vimeo to be the HBO phase of online video,” he said.
Here is the memo Trainor sent to staffers Tuesday, supplied by Vimeo:
After more than four awesome years of growth and evolution, I’ve decided it’s time to step back from Vimeo. This wasn’t an easy choice as I love Vimeo to its core – to its creative, inspiring, insanely wonderful (and sometimes just wonderfully insane) core. I’m so proud to have been part of this incredible team and I know Vimeo’s best times are yet ahead.
Ultimately we’re all just caretakers of the talented world of Vimeo creators, and as with any great thing, the idea is to leave it a bit better than how you found it. Not only have we grown tremendously as a company, this has been an incredible chapter for me personally. My plan now is to live life for a bit while working with a few companies as a board member until I’m ready to announce my next full time project. In the meantime, I’ll remain an advisor to Vimeo to ensure a smooth transition and help IAC in the search for Vimeo’s next CEO.
During this transition, IAC CEO Joey Levin will assume the role of interim CEO of Vimeo, working directly with members of my team. I’ve worked closely with Joey for the past year, and can tell you that his passion and ambition for Vimeo are unbounded. And as our seasoned General Manager of two-and-a-half years, Mike Weissman has done an exceptional job overseeing all business operations for the Vimeo platform and will continue in that capacity working directly with Joey.
Looking back at what we’ve accomplished together, it’s pretty staggering: we’ve more than tripled our monthly users to over 280M and our paying subscribers to over 710,000, and grown our revenue fivefold as we pioneer a new world for video creators to be compensated for their work directly instead of relying on intrusive ads.
As the video world continues to unbundle for consumers, Vimeo is poised to take its next major leap as the largest, open destination for premium, ad-free video, direct from creators worldwide. Our early programming bets with Vimeo Originals have shown that creators—empowered with total artistic freedom-- can reach a global paying audience through Vimeo. And it’s just the beginning.
While we’ve been putting power back in the hands of creators all over the world, we’ve also built significant value as a business – Vimeo is now one of the most valuable companies within IAC, and behind only Youtube as the largest video sharing marketplace worldwide. Not bad for a still scrappy team of 200 going up against—and never fearing—the biggest players on the web.
You should all feel extremely proud. I know Vimeo will continue to accomplish great things with you exceptional people behind it.
So, before we get together today, I’ll issue you all this challenge: keep showing the world what it means to be ‘made with love in NYC’- a phrase Vimeo pioneered long before I got here, and one I hope will continue to inspire all of you as it has me from the day I joined. Go out and get it done!
See you all shortly.