Automotive based social media website DriveTribe is seemingly stuck in second gear after it was launched to great fanfare in November, after news broke this week that CEO Ernesto Schmitt has resigned.
Jeremy Clarkson launched DriveTribe with TV sidekicks Richard Hammond and James May – and it aims to be a ‘Facebook for car lovers’ with users joining “tribes” to share videos and discuss everything on four wheels. So sort of what everyone does on Facebook, YouTube or Car Throttle already.
Records at Companies House show that DriveTribe CEO Ernesto Schmitt resigned as a director last Wednesday, though word is that he left the company in March. The German businessman was once described as the “Arnold Schwarzenegger of media” by Campaign magazine, and has been involved in a string of media start-ups.
This month he also resigned as director of Clarkson-affiliated Tribe IP Ltd, and oddly named TV company W Chump & Sons (Mugs & T-shirts). The fomer Top Gear trio used the latter to sign a deal for The Grand Tour with Amazon in 2015 after Clarkson was sacked by the BBC for punching producer Oisin Tymon.
Schmitt has already been replaced in the Tribe companies by Clarkson’s loyal Top Gear producer, Andy Wilman.
Some people have had trouble making sense of DriveTribe which, an insider says, was relaxed about user-testing the site before launch. One comment on Clarkson’s “tribe” page this week is “How the actual hell are you supposed to use this site?”
The source told The Londoner: “Schmitt and Jeremy didn’t get on — they’re both loud alpha males. Differing visions of what the platform’s for mean it hasn’t got into second gear”.
Correction: Jeremy Clarkson was not ‘sacked’ by the BBC. His contract was merely not renewed. He has done other with for the BBC since ‘the fracas’.