Sunday, July 14, 2024

MrBeast hires venture capitalist Housenbold as president

Media and entertainment company MrBeast Industries has hired well-known venture capitalist and entrepreneur Jeffrey Housenbold to be president and chief operating officer of the Greenville operation.

Jeffrey Housenbold
Jeffrey Housenbold

He is best known as the CEO of e-commerce company Shutterfly. When he joined, he was the fourth CEO in four years and the company was focused on survival, not growth. Housenbold raised capital from leading venture capitalists, conducted a successful IPO in 2006, and acquired 17 companies, transforming Shutterfly into the fifth-largest standalone e-commerce company in the United States.

“We are on a mission to build an extraordinary media and consumer product and services company that has a positive impact on the world,” said Housenbold on LinkedIn about his new job.

He later wrote that the company’s mission is to “explore new frontiers, create unforgettable experiences, and build a legacy that inspires future generations.”

Greenville resident Jimmy Donaldson founded MrBeast Industries, which recently surpassed the Indian record label T-Series to become YouTube’s most-subscribed channel with 266 million subscribers. He is credited with creating the genre of expensive video stunts. In 2023, his channel added 99 million new YouTube subscribers, almost double the growth of any other channel.

Last year, his snack food brand Feastables became jersey-patch partner with the Charlotte Hornets, a first between a social media influencer and an NBA team. Donaldson told Time magazine that Feastables will have $500 million in revenue in 2024.

He also told the publication his operation has between $600 million to $700 million in annual revenue, but that his production company is not profitable. In 2021, his videos led to $54 million in revenue, Forbes estimates. The 26-year-old Donaldson started uploading videos in 2014 and has more than 425 million combined followers on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

Last month, the company split with its talent management company, Night Media. Donaldson had been working with Night founder Reed Duchscher since February 2018. Donaldson told Bloomberg News that he needed to start building an internal team for the company.

Prior to Shutterfly, which he left in 2016, Housenbold was vice president of business development and internet marketing at eBay, where he managed customer acquisition and retention.

He has also been a managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, helping manage and lead the firm’s $100 billion Vision Fund. Some of his investments include DoorDash, Rappi, Compass, Katerra, Opendoor, Memphis Meats, Plenty, GetYourGuide, Clutter, and Globality.

Prior to SoftBank, Housenbold was an executive in residence at Sutter Hill Ventures, where he advised the firm on enterprise and consumer investments, and a special industry adviser to buyout firm KKR.

Housenbold also held senior management positions at AltaVista, including vice president and general manager and vice president of corporate and business development.

He earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. His undergraduate degrees are in business administration and economics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at

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