YouTube has hired Leo Olebe, a games partnerships executive at parent company Google, to lead the video giant’s gaming division, a Google spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.
Olebe will fill the top gaming executive role at YouTube roughly nine months after Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s former head of gaming, exited in February to become the CEO of the Web3 company Polygon Studios.
At Google, Olebe currently leads the games partnerships team for Google Play, where he works closely with developers and publishers. He previously spent more than five years at Facebook, now known as Meta, where he led the company’s global games partnerships and business development and launched Facebook Gaming’s Black gaming creator program.
Olebe will join YouTube as the company has begun poaching a number of top gamers — including Benjamin Lupo (“DrLupo”), Tim Betar (“TimTheTatman“), Rachell Hofstetter (“Valkyrae”), Elliott Watkins (“Muselk”), Lannan Eacott (“LazarBeam”) and Ali Kabbani (“Myth“) — from rival streamer Twitch for exclusive deals with YouTube Gaming.
Olebe is expected to formally begin at YouTube later this year. He will report up to Tara Walpert Levy, YouTube’s vp Americas.