Pornhub Parent Company’s CEO, COO Are Departing as Scrutiny Builds Over Alleged Nonconsensual Content

Two top executives at the parent company of major pornography site Pornhub have resigned, the company said Tuesday, amid scrutiny of alleged nonconsensual sexually explicit videos hosted on the site.

MindGeek Chief Executive

Feras Antoon

and Chief Operating Officer

David Tassillo

are leaving, the privately held company said in a statement. The leadership changes have been in the works since early 2022, MindGeek said. Messrs. Antoon and Tassillo will remain shareholders, the company said.

Investigations by several news organizations, including the New Yorker earlier this month, reported that Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular pornography sites, allegedly hosted videos that included nonconsensual and underage sex. The Wall Street Journal hasn’t independently verified the accusations in those articles. 

A spokesman said the departures aren’t related to the accusations against MindGeek. The company said it has enacted safeguards and that it removes incidents of child sexual-abuse material. “MindGeek has more comprehensive and effective policies than any other major platform on the internet,” the company said. 

“MindGeek’s executive leadership team will run day-to-day operations on an interim basis, with a search underway for replacements,” the company said. Both executives had more than a decade of experience in leadership roles with the company, it added.

MindGeek has more than 1,000 employees and its network of sites attracts over 150 million daily visitors, according to the company. In addition to Pornhub, it also owns other popular porn sites such as RedTube and YouPorn.

Several lawsuits have been filed against MindGeek in recent years. A class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in February alleged that MindGeek disseminated child pornography and violated federal sex trafficking laws. The suit alleges MindGeek profited from and failed to prevent illegal content from flowing. 

MindGeek is headquartered in Luxembourg but has other offices around the world, including in Montreal and Los Angeles. A federal privacy official in Canada launched an investigation into MindGeek last year.

A MindGeek spokesman didn’t immediately comment about the litigation or the Canadian investigation.

Write to Omar Abdel-Baqui at [email protected]

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