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Verizon has hired a former YouTube exec as it moves further into original video

Ivana Kirkbride joins after a short stint at YouTube rival Vessel.

GO90 Live: San Francisco Featuring Fall Out Boy Frazer Harrison / Getty

Verizon has hired Ivana Kirkbride, a YouTube veteran, as the “Chief Content Officer” for its Go90 streaming service, another sign that the telco giant is trying to establish itself in the media business.

Kirkbride is coming from video startup Vessel, where she serves as VP of content acquisition. Both companies confirmed the move.

At Verizon, Kirkbride will work from its Los Angeles base to develop original series and channels for the video service, which hasn’t picked up tremendous steam with its target demographic of young, mobile-heavy consumers. In April, Verizon bought a minority stake in the digital video company AwesomenessTV to boost Go90’s offerings. (It notably also bought AOL last year in a bet on mobile video.)

Kirkbride had a similar job with YouTube, where she worked from 2011 to 2015, leading the push to milk programming from its roster of stars. Last summer, Vessel hired her away to do that there — a transition that sent waves through the media world, as the startup was seen as a potential threat to YouTube.

Perception of that threat has diminished, as Vessel’s growth hasn’t taken off as some expected. Kirkbride’s exit isn’t a great sign for the company, either.

Jason Kilar, Vessel’s CEO and the former Hulu CEO, sent over this statement: "We wish Ivana well in her next adventure with go90 and are very thankful for the time Ivana invested in serving creators here at Vessel.”

This article originally appeared on

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