YouTube Giant MovieClips Hires Senior Execs from Astro Gaming, Ustream, and Demand Media

By Michael Carney , written on July 11, 2012

From The News Desk

Apparently when you’re the fastest growing channel on YouTube, hiring becomes less of a challenge. PandoDaily has learned that MovieClips has leveraged its status as a Top 10 YouTube channel to hire three senior executives away from Astro Gaming, Ustream, and Demand Media over the last two months. The hires include a new head of operations, head of business development, and head of audience.

MovieClips' new head of operations is former Astro Gaming (later acquired by SkullCandy) head of business development and operations Tae Lee. His new team has apparently taken to calling Lee the “optimization hero” around the office, due to his insatiable hunger for all things efficient. Lee manages all day-to-day operations, as well as overseeing the growth and development of MovieClips’ products, viewership, and team. Previously, he was the director of business development at video game developer Digital Chocolate and also lead product manager for Microsoft’s Xbox Platform Group for five years.

The company's new head of business development is former Ustream VP of content Jason Kirk. In his new role Kirk is responsible for developing global content and strategic partnerships within MovieClips. This is in direct parallel to his role negotiating and managing content and distribution for Ustream in the areas of entertainment, music, news, lifestyle, and social media. Previously, he was Vice President of Video and Entertainment at MySpace.

MovieClips’ latest hire, new “head of audience” Oren Katzeff, is former Demand Media SVP and GM. In the new role, he will be responsible for overseeing everything audience facing, including areas such as user acquisition, traffic analytics, and influencer community management. Katzeff is extremely well suited for his new role, given that he is largely responsible for building Demand property into the most visited comedy site in the US, with 19 million monthly unique visitors. During his five years with the company, he was deeply involved content creation and in structuring monetization and distribution opportunities. Prior to joining Demand, Katzeff was a senior director of business development at Yahoo Media Group.

MovieClips is known as the leading provider of premium short form Hollywood movie content on YouTube. This content includes trailers and short scenes from the full catalogs of major studios including Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Brothers.

MovieClips completed a $7 million Series B financing in July of last year, bringing aboard strategic investor MK Capital, along with previous investors Shasta Ventures, First Round Capital, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, SoftTech VC, and Aydin Senkut.

The company is on a significant growth trajectory with a mushrooming audience and the latest hires portending great things to come. There is enormous excitement internally around new proprietary technology in the works, which I was fortunate to get a preview of and will discuss in a future post. Needless to say, MovieClips proverbial stock is headed "up and to the right."