The departure of Feras Antoon and David Tassillo, the long-serving heads of adult entertainment behemoth MindGeek made headlines all over the world. For now, the company is led by the remaining executive leadership until they find a replacement to lead the holding with some of the most valuable brands in the porn industry, among them Pornhub, RedTube, MyDirtyHobby, Brazzers, Reality Kings and Digital Playground.
The Hollywood newssite Variety was first to report that two of the most powerful men in porn will step back from their positions. MindGeek’s CEO Feras Antoon as well as the company’s COO, David Tassillo, resigned from their roles at the top of the adult entertainment giant that upended the adult entertainment industry forever.
The company released a thin-lipped statement regarding the leadership change which came among much criticism and political attacks against MindGeek’s flagship brand PornHub. It stated, »Antoon and Tassillo leave MindGeek’s day-to-day operations after more than a decade in leadership positions with the company. With the company strategically positioned for long-term growth, MindGeek’s executive leadership team will run day-to-day operations on an interim basis, with a search underway for replacements.«
While the company states that the change at the top has been planned and talked about since early 2022, the move still comes as a shock to many industry observors. Both managers will remain shareholders and as there are no announcements about who will become their successors, maybe the two executives mainly aim to get out of the spotlight for a while. As stated before the publicity surrounding PornHub and many anti-porn media outlets have started to personally single out and criticize Tassillo and Antoon.
Variety commented, »According to MindGeek, it is now beginning to ‘invest deeply in expanding creator-first offerings’ as well as additional ‘opportunities for content monetization.«
They added, »The company says it currently provides hundreds of thousands of models ‘with the opportunity to earn a living’ and is seeking to ‘massively expand’ the number of talent it works with.«
By now the company as denied rumors that the resignation of the top leadership had anything to do with press articles about the handling of questionable or illegal contents on PornHub. A statement by MindGeek regarding speculations that an article in the New Yorker was a huge problem for the leadership has by now been published by the Washington Post. Therein MindGeek states, »The New Yorker had the opportunity to seriously evaluate what works in fighting illegal material on the internet by looking at the facts, comparing the policies of platforms, and studying the results. Instead, they chose to ignore the fact that MindGeek has more comprehensive and effective policies than any other major platform on the internet, and decided to peddle the same gross mischaracterizations that anti-porn extremists have spewed for decades.«
Maybe the resignation of the top team will give the company time to breath and to restructure to come back with a new strategy to counter the problems stemming from worldwide backlash against adult entertainment and sex work.