Emmett Shear (born 1983) is the interim CEO of the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, having been named by the board on November 19, 2023 following the ousting of former CEO Sam Altman two days earlier. Previously, Shear was the chief executive officer of Twitch, a position he served in until March 2023 since it was originally founded as a live video platform Justin.tv. Shear serves as an American internet entrepreneur, investor. and served as a part-time partner at venture capital firm Y Combinator.
Shear, along with Kan, applied to the first class of Y Combinator when they were seniors in 2005. As part of Y Combinator, the two built a calendar application called Kiko, which they eventually sold on eBay for $250,000 after Google Calendar was introduced.
In 2006, the two, along with Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, started Justin.tv, a 24/7 live video feed of Kan's life, broadcast via a webcam attached to his head.
Kan's "lifecasting" lasted about eight months but the four partners decided to transition to providing a live video platform so anyone could publish a live video stream. Launched in 2007, Justin.tv was one of the largest live video platforms in the world with more than 30 million unique users every month until it was shut down on August 5, 2014.
On August 29, 2011, Shear became CEO of the new company.
After Justin.tv launched in 2007, the site quickly began building subject-specific content categories like Social, Tech, Sports, Entertainment, News & Events, Gaming, and others. Gaming, in particular, grew very fast and became the most popular content on the site.
In June 2011, the company decided to spin off the gaming content under a separate brand and site. They named it TwitchTV, inspired by the term twitch gameplay. It launched officially in public beta on June 6, 2011.
On August 25, 2014, Amazon officially acquired Twitch for a reported $970,000,000.
In March 2023, Shear announced that he was resigning as CEO and Daniel J. Clancy will take over.
Shear became a part-time partner at Y Combinator in June 2011, where he offered advice to the new startups in each batch.
On 19th November, 2023, Shear was named as the interim CEO of OpenAI, following the removal of Sam Altman by the board two days earlier.
Shear has publicly stated that he is concerned about the impact AI can have on civilization, putting his “P(Doom)”, or probability of doom, at between 2 and 50 percent.