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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley is stepping down as CEO of the world's most popular website for watching video.

Hurley's decision to give up the leadership role at the 5-year-old site formalizes a transition that has been in the works for some time as YouTube's owner, Google Inc., asserted more control.

Salar Kamangar, one of Google's earliest employees, has been running YouTube's day-to-day operations for the past two years while Hurley concentrated on the site's design and relationship with its users.

Hurley, who is 33 years old, intends to remain a YouTube adviser and officially turn over the CEO's role to Kamangar.

Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion four years ago, enriching Hurley and his fellow co-founders Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Chen and Karim already left YouTube.

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