Viddy drops CEO Brett O’Brien, denies turning down Twitter offer

Viddy, which has been one of the hottest Los Angeles startups, has dropped chief executive Brett O'Brien, second from left.
(Arkasha Stevenson/Los Angeles Times)
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Viddy, a Los Angeles startup that has been described as the Instagram of video, has fired chief executive Brett O’Brien and is now looking for his replacement.

The 42-million-member mobile video social network said O’Brien, who co-founded the company and helped raise $30 million in financing last April, will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. He’ll remain on the company’s board, however.

“He was great for the first phase of the company, but companies grow and needs change,” a Viddy spokesperson told the Times Tuesday.


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Viddy, which lets users create and share 15-second videos, denied rumors that it decided to drop O’Brien because he had turned down an acquisition offer from Twitter. Viddy said it never received an offer from Twitter.

Rather, Viddy cited a drop in traffic as one of the reasons for O’Brien’s firing.

Viddy board member and investor Brian O’Malley told PandoDaily, a startups news site, that the social network’s numbers have “dropped materially” since peaking in the spring.

“We still get 4 [million] to 5 million uniques a month, but things are not perfect,” O’Malley told PandoDaily. “The goal now is to maximize the shareholder value going forward from this point. Version 2.0 is set to launch in a few weeks. It by no means is a silver bullet, but it is a reflection of lots of user feedback and is a material step in the right direction.”

For example, Justin Bieber, who touted the app on the “Today” show last year and is one of Viddy’s most followed users, hasn’t posted a new video in two months.

“As the company moves into the next phase of the business, the need for more experienced leadership arose,” the company said.



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