Yesterday, Livestream, world’s leading video streaming startup headquartered in East Williamsburg, announced the appointment of Jesse Hertzberg as the company’s new CEO replacing Max Haot, a co-founder of Livestream in the function.
“We have built the world’s leading live video streaming company, developing industry changing hardware and software products that empower people and businesses to connect with their customers in a deeply personal way,” Max wrote on Livestream’s blog. “To enable [additional] acceleration I recruited Jesse to succeed me as CEO with the full support of our co-founders and the Livestream board of directors.”
Jesse Hertzberg ran operations at Squarespace and Etsy in the past years. As for Max, he takes on a new role at Livestream as SVP & GM, Video Products. He will be responsible for all of the video production offerings; he also continues to serve as Chairman of the board.
In May 2014, innovation and creativity found its way back to the 80,000 square foot warehouse on Morgan Avenue after its previous tenant 3rd Ward abruptly closed its operation due to pressing financial problems leaving a huge debt behind. A promising startup, Livestream, rented the building, moving away their former office space in Chelsea. In addition to the new creative community, Livestream found a large saving on its rent as it was paying only about a third per square foot of what it was paying in its former space.
The new location wasn’t a coincidence. Now former CEO of Livestream, Max has been living in Bushwick with his wife for several years, and so he was well acquainted with the local creative scene and with the special flavors only Bushwick can offer.
Ever since the reincarnation of the building as Livestream HQ, the startup has been nothing but a great neighbor to Bushwick. It has set up Livestream Public in the building’s large foyer as an educational space for the community. The space has a stage, auditory and video streaming facility, so that all of its events can be livestreamed. Livestream Public hosted, free of charge, Performance Art and Activism, a panel discussion of Hyperallergic and Brooklyn Museum; Workshop of Bushwick Entrepreneurs Club in collaboration with Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; recently TEDxBushwick conference, and many many more.
Recent TEDxBushwick event sparked a discussion about the goals of Livestream in the neighborhood, with critical voices claiming that Livestream is hoping to quickly gentrify Bushwick for its own agenda. But as Ethan Pettit pointed out on his blog, companies such as Livestream actually slow down the gentrification process of the neighborhood as they preserve the industrial zone status of the area longer. If the buildings at East Williamsburg Industrial Park were left empty and unused for extended periods, which is happening as manufacturing slowly leaves Brooklyn, the authorities would be likelier to allow rezoning of the area for residential purposes, which as we all know, causes true gentrification, and an influx of new wealthier residents.