Tim Stokely, the CEO of OnlyFans, announced on Tuesday that he is stepping down from the role he’s held since founding the company in 2016. He’ll serve as an advisor to the company, according to Bloomberg.
Stokely will be replaced by OnlyFans marketing executive Amrapali “Ami” Gan.
“We’ve worked side-by-side sharing our passion about the creator economy,” Gan told Bloomberg. “Our priority is to continue being committed to being the safest social media platform in the world.”
“Ami has a deep passion for OnlyFans’ business and I’m passing the baton to a friend and colleague who has the vision and drive to help the organisation reach its tremendous potential,” Stokely said in a press release. “OnlyFans is still a new company and Ami brings a fresh energy and reflects who we are as a business.”
Stokely launched OnlyFans in 2016 after founding two other platforms for adult content creators: GlamGirls and Customs4U. OnlyFans rapidly grew to be the multi-billion dollar company it is today because it allowed adult content creators to use the site to sell custom content and interact with fans. Sex workers are responsible for the platform’s success (the site takes 20 percent of creators’ earnings).
Gan is inheriting the role at a time of uncertainty for the platform, and a time when almost every adult website is battling with financial institutions to survive. In September, OnlyFans announced that it would ban all explicit content, which would have erased most of the content from the site and pulled the rug out from thousands of adult performers who rely on the platform to make a living. Stokely blamed discrimination from banking institutions, including JP Morgan Chase and BNY Melon, for forcing the decision.
OnlyFans reversed the decision just days later, following backlash against the platform from creators, sex worker rights activists, and customers. The plan to ban explicit content was “suspended,” according to the company. But the damage was done; patrons canceled their subscriptions, models lost income that many are still struggling to recover, and creators lost confidence in the platform as a stable place for sex workers to thrive.
The “glass cliff” is a well-documented phenomenon where businesses bring women and minorities into positions of leadership to pull companies out of times of crisis. From 2019 to 2020, according to her Linkedin profile, Gan worked as the Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for an LA-based cannabis company—an industry that historically faces some of the same banking and investing discrimination as pornography. Gan has not made any public indication about her stance on adult content on the platform, and OnlyFans did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Gan told Bloomberg that she plans to increase investment in the platform’s free streaming app, OFTV, which does not allow any sexual content because it’s offered in the Apple App Store—which forbids adult apps.