BAYC Co-Founder Greg Solano Takes Helm as Yuga Labs CEO

Yuga Labs, creators of preeminent 2021 NFT collection Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), has a new CEO. Greg Solano, BAYC Co-Founder, announced on X yesterday that he is stepping in as the leader of the company in place of Daniel Alegre, who had been with Yuga Labs for less than a year.

In his post, Solano said that under his leadership the company will pivot to a more crypto-native focus. He also mentioned three specifics directions for Yuga, including revamping BAYC and emphasizing the collection’s utility, which is its network. BAYC will operate under its own Limited Liability Corporation and have a “crack team of ninjas” that has more agility and focus.

The other two directions concerned the Otherside metaverse and the company’s gaming arm. In his vision, Solano wants Otherside to be the place Web3 communities go to hang out and play. By his own admission, it’s a “massive swing for the fences” and there’s “a lot of work to do.”

For gaming, Yuga Labs will release titles with “crazy fun play patterns” that “open the funnel” and bring millions of new users into the ecosystem. One example he gave was Dookey Dash, which had an average play time of 28 hours per gamer when it was launched in 2023. The company is currently developing a version of the game for iOS, Google Play, Mac, and PC.

Alegre, who left a Chief Operating Officer position at Activision Blizzard to take over as CEO of Yuga Labs, said on X that he was grateful for the opportunity to “lead this great team” and that “Yuga has such a bright future.” The company hasn’t commented on whether Alegre will leave the company or transition into another role.

Web3 Has Positive Reception to News

Yuga Labs got its start with BAYC, created by Solano, Wylie Aronow, Kerem Atalay, and Zeshan Ali in 2021, and initially had a strong crypto native focus. But that seemed to change, if at least slightly, with some of the hires in the past two years and a fundraise that brought venture capitalists into the conversation.

The pivot (and return) to a vision that emphasizes Web3 principles and communities was met with a strong positive response on X, including from some of the space’s biggest influencers.

Luca Netz, leader of Pudgy Penguins, replied to Solano’s post, saying “Love to see it.” ThreadGuy, known for his interviews and entertaining takes, wrote that Solano’s Tweet was the best he had read in 2024 and that this was the first time he had been excited about Yuga in a long time. NateAlex, who has been in the NFT space since 2017, wrote “Natives for the win.”

The move comes as some members of BAYC had taken to X, expressing that they felt the collection was being lost within Yuga Labs’ larger ecosystem. It also comes just less than two weeks after a prominent NFT trader sold his Gold Ape, writing on X that it was the end of an era.

If Solano can get Yuga Labs back on track and reenergize BAYC holders, that would be a plus for the space. After all, it was one of the most recognizable names in the NFT space, and its influence extends into the mainstream.

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