BitTorrent has fired its two CEOs, closed its Los Angeles production studio, and is giving up on BitTorrent Now, the ambitious media streaming service it launched less than six months ago. The changes were announced in an email to staff sent by BitTorrent founder Bram Cohen earlier this week, Variety reports, sent as an unknown number of employees were also let go from the company. CFO Dipak Joshi is moving into the role once occupied by Co-CEOs Jeremy Johnson and Robert Delamar.
The sacked CEOs were appointed in April
Johnson and Delamar were also removed from the company's board of directors, just a few short months after they were announced as co-CEOs. The two had promised a renewed focus on media production for BitTorrent, and launched BitTorrent Now soon after their ascension, a combination of Netflix and Spotify that focused on output from independent creators. BitTorrent has not explained why Johnson and Delamar were ousted, but sources told Variety that spending was "out of control," with millions of dollars reportedly poured into BitTorrent Now.
BitTorrent made its name as a way to share movies, shows, and music, but the company has made abortive attempts to move further into the entertainment industry before: the company was forced to close its Torrent Entertainment Network store back in 2008 after a lack of customer interest. Since then it has launched its own news network, set up a streaming video platform called BitTorrent Live, and announced its own original shows. It's not clear what this week's shakeups will mean for these projects, or BitTorrent as a whole, but it certainly sounds like the company will be dialing back on media production.