Machinima CEO Allen Debevoise plans to step down and is actively looking for someone to replace him, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
The co-founder will remain chairman of the board and will remain actively involved in the company he has run since 2007. DeBevoise wants to hire an executive who can take over operational control as Machinima attempts to steer itself towards greater profitability.
“I’m looking for a partner that can run the business day to day and get it to the next level,” he told AllThingsD, which broke the story. “It’s a huge opportunity to build a global entertainment network.”
DeBevoise is not likely to step down until after he secures another round of fundraising, according to sources familiar with the company’s plan.
Machinima was one of the first massive networks of YouTube channels, which are known within the online video industry as multi-channel networks. Though other networks such as Maker Studios and Fullscreen have passed it in terms of aggregate views, Machinima still reaches more than 200 million people a month.
Unlike those networks, it’s greatest strength is its own brand, which is inviolable amongst the gaming addicts that frequent its flagship channel and its own website. Several of its popular shows, such as “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” or “Halo: Forward Unto Dawn” are based on video games.
Yet Machinima has not been immune to the financial pressures faced by all the biggest MCNs.
Also read: Machinima to Cut 10 Percent of Staff
They have raised tremendous amounts of capital from investors valuing their companies in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They have used that financing to expand and experiment in a number of different costly businesses, and the investors want to see returns.
Advertising revenue has not flooded into the space as quickly as viewers have, prompting some executives to grouse about the money they are making and the advertising split with YouTube.
That has many companies slimming down in some areas, bringing in new executives, selling to established companies or all of the above.
Machinima has had frequent talks with investors and major media companies about both fundraising and acquisitions, but DeBevoise told AllThingsD he was looking for a modest round of $20 to $30 million. It raised $35 million last May from a group of investors that included Google.