Ben Huh, the CEO of content network Cheezburger, has announced in a Medium post that he is stepping down from his position and leaving the company.
Huh says that the company’s President and COO, Scott Moore, will become its new CEO. Huh will remain on the company’s board.
Cheezburger is the company behind sites like I Can Has Cheezburger, FAIL Blog, The Daily What, Know Your Meme, and Memebase, among others.
The Cheezburger Network was one of the first internet companies to understand the growing influence of internet culture, as well as the power of shareable content. Huh’s team turned photos of cats and videos of people falling over into a viable business which in 2011 was bringing in over 375 million page views every month.
The network of sites was so popular that it was even given its own reality TV series, which chronicled the daily lives of the people who run I Can Has Cheezburger?, a site about cats and other animals.
But the draw of internet memes wasn’t always reliable, and the Cheezburger Network faced problems. Huh was forced to fire a third of his staff in 2013, and called the experience “the most difficult week I’ve ever experienced.” More recently, news app Circa was shut down after failing to raise more investment. Huh was a cofounder of the app, and mentions in his Medium post that “there are many ways to interpret the timing of life’s moments, but the one I choose is to be thankful that I received an opportunity to neatly wrap up this stage of my work.”
Huh reflects on the success of Cheezburger Network in his Medium post, saying “Emily and I have sprinted a marathon for the past 8-years.” (Emily is Huh’s wife, who also works for the Cheezburger Network. It sounds like she is leaving the company too.) “We became Internet Famous before there was Internet Famous, thanks to all of our users. I could not have guessed how starting a company and buying a lolcat website called I Can Has Cheezburger? in 2007 would change our lives and our small corner of the world.”