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SHE MEANS BUSINESS

OnlyFans’ new CEO is female and South Asian

OnlyFans
Facebook/OnlyFans
Bringing "fresh energy."
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published

Porn-friendly social media platform OnlyFans has rejigged its top management, and surprisingly appointed a South Asian woman to the top job.

On Dec. 21, British entrepreneur Tim Stokely, who has been the CEO since the company’s inception five years, stepped down “to pursue new endeavors.” He handed over day-to-day leadership of the London-based firm to Amrapali “Ami” Gan, 36, who joined as chief marketing and communications officer just last year.

“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 organization 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.”

PRNewsWire/OnlyFans
Amrapali “Ami” Gan

Gan, who is now based in Los Angeles, came to OnlyFans after several stints at “rapid growth companies and fast-moving consumer industries,” OnlyFan’s announcement notes. She led communications at protein bar-maker Quest Nutrition, Red Bull, and Cannabis Café.

Only one in 10 tech CEOs is a woman. The Mumbai-born marketing expert also joins the growing ranks of Indian-origin corporate leaders, in an industry that South Asian culture tends to publicly frown upon.

Meanwhile, Stokely is staying on as an adviser during the transition.

OnlyFans remains porn-friendly

In the last five years, OnlyFans has amassed more than 180 million registered users and 2 million creators worldwide, the firm said. It has paid out over $5 billion in creator earnings. The platform takes a 20% commission, which is much lower than other platforms. (YouTube, for instance, takes 45%.)

While celebrities like CardiB and DJ Khalid use the platform for behind-the-scenes videos and motivational talks, they are a minority. The bulk of the content on the site is adult entertainment. During the pandemic, many sex workers turned to the largely NSFW site, turning it into a multibillion-dollar business.

In August, the company planned to ban “sexually explicit” content after payment companies complained of “reputational risks.” Three in particular—Bank of New York Mellon, Metro Bank, and JPMorgan Chase—were rejecting wire transfers and closing down accounts associated with OnlyFans and sex workers who post on the platform.

But within a week, the subscription-based site backtracked its decision, citing a commitment to its “diverse creator community.”

How will Gan change OnlyFans?

This means, for now at least, Gan’s new role will have her navigating an adult content industry that has so far been ruled by white men. She emphasizes “safety” as a core OnlyFans value.

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with our creator community to help them maximize control over, and monetize, their content,” Gan says. “I will be leading an exceptionally talented team at OnlyFans that is delivering a unique experience for our creators and fans. By blending state of the art technology with creative capital, we are committed to being the safest social media platform in the world.”

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