George Strompolos Leaves YouTube to Found Start-Up

UPDATED: YouTube’s (s GOOG) George Strompolos, who handled strategic partner development for the site, announced on Twitter today that this is his last day at YouTube/Google (s goog), as he’s leaving the company to found a “digital media start-up” in Los Angeles.

“Helping to found the @youtube Partner Program and working with so many brilliant creators has been the highlight of my career,” Strompolos added via a follow-up message. “We changed the rules of media and empowered a new creative class. I am very proud of that.” We’ve reached out to YouTube for further comment.

UPDATE: Via email, Strompolos added that “Aside from the tweets I already posted today, I can tell you that my startup will focus on distribution through people.”

Strompolos was a popular figure in the YouTube community, especially among content partners. Just one example: Michael “What the Buck” Buckley serenading Strompolos’s departure before singing his praises.

Enigmatically, as part of his Twitter farewell, Strompolos linked to an This Week in Start-ups interview with Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis at specifically the time code 21:39, when Calacanis talks about slicing obstacles in half with (what one presumes to be) a metaphorical sword.

“That’s when you’re free,” Calacanis says, ostensibly about the experience of the start-up world. “You’re not a battery in some big effing system that’s run by the man. You’ve unplugged from the Matrix, you’re your own person.”

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