I’ve got a couple big announcements today.
I’m hopeful that you’ll read this whole blog post. I put a good amount of time into making sure it gave you and the entire WordPress community full transparency and context into this decision, why we made it, and what the future holds for the company.
But if you just want the big news, here it is…
- I’m excited to announce today that Nick Adams, former COO of WP Buffs, will be transitioning into the role of CEO effective as of today.
- I’ll be transitioning into a new role at the company, CIO (Chief Innovation Officer).
Why I’m moving into a new role
This is a complicated question but I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible here haha.
There are a few factors that made this the right decision. They all seemed to crescendo at the same time too, which made it all the more logical to move forward.
1. I’m happy with 5 years
I was the solo founder of WordPress Planetin 2016, ~5 years ago.
Check me out hustling at the WordCamp Lancaster Happiness Bar in 2017! Back when I had (some) hair haha.
5 years is the longest I’ve done anything professionally in my life. I always have been and always will be someone who wants to try something new.
And over the past year, I’ve been more drawn to working on my own projects (like WPMRR) and giving myself more creative space to grow out of.
2. I get to choose when to pass the baton
One of the biggest reasons I wanted to start a business was to be able to make any decision I wanted to.
I got the chance to dictate company culture.
I had the chance to decide what I wanted to work on every day.
And maybe most importantly, I get to make big decisions about the company.
There’s a lot about life that we don’t get a choice about. I’m exceedingly lucky that I have the opportunity to make this transition happen on my terms at a time that makes sense for me.
So…I’m passing the baton to the next in line because I can.
3. It’s the elegant solution
As the company has grown into a bigger team and a more mature company, we’ve had to reinvent a lot about how we work.
This is simply another big step in that journey.
As a mathematics major in college, studying proofs was something I did often. And the best proofs were those that were the most elegant.
What makes a proof elegant? It’s hard to define, but when it clicks and starts making sense in your head, you have a sense of awe at how perfectly the solution completes the proof.
This is no different. Transitioning to CIO and making Nick our CEO is the most elegant solution. So we’re going for it.
Maybe it’s an elegant solution because it makes sense and benefits everybody involved…
- Nick will be a better CEO than me for the current and future size of the company. He’s led operations almost flawlessly for years and is more systems-centric, team-focused and detail-oriented than me. These are all things we need from the day-to-day manager of the company moving forward.
- The CIO position is a much better fit for my strengths and what I draw joy and inspiration from. I’ll be spending my time cultivating things over at WPMRR (virtual summit, online Circle community and WordPress podcast), advancing our acquisition unit at WordPress Planetand helping with high-level strategy alongside the leadership team.
- This is the right move for the team at WP Buffs. I’m not a bad manager when it comes to caring about my team and giving them the resources they need to be successful. But the team deserves a leader who’s exceptionally strong when it comes to people and operational management.
- This is the right decision for our clients, white-label partners and everyone who depends on us to manage their website(s). The CEO spends their days making big decisions about the direction of the company and Nick is more than equipped to handle that with ease.
4. It was easy to pick the next CEO
If you’ve ever met Nick at a WordCamp, you already know why he’s getting this opportunity.
Here are a few specific reasons:
- Everything operations has scaled beautifully at WordPress Planetunder his purview. This makes him a great fit to do the same across the company, including with our sales, marketing and community teams.
- He’s dedicated to our values, mission and the team. Our whole team is like this, yet Nick still manages to live and breathe Buffs day in and day out.
- He’s made many, many good decisions in his tenure here. This is core to the success of a CEO at any company so his track record suggests he’ll be a successful leader.
- He deserves this opportunity. Nick was hired as a Happiness Engineer years ago and has continued to prove himself through the years as somebody I could entrust with more and more responsibility. Now he’s ready for the next chapter of his professional development and that’s to lead a company as a whole and have full autonomy over short- and long-term strategy and direction.
- I trust him. Nick has been the guy I could rely on at WordPress Planetsince he started here and I consider him family. I trust him 100% to do his very best in this new role, which is all I can really ask for.
What this means for me
I already mapped out my future responsibilities above.
But when it comes to my day-to-day involvement in WP Buffs, my time commitment will be significantly less.
I’ll still work alongside the leadership team to help them make big decisions, troubleshoot challenges, etc.
And for the time being, I’ll still be pretty involved in the WordPress community. Anybody who wants to join us in the WPMRR Community is welcome. I’ve been more active on Twitter. I didn’t expect to be working so much on the upcoming WPMRR Virtual Summit, but I’m having fun with it.
I am and always will be a Buff
Other notes that didn’t fit anywhere else
- At some point, I’ll do an AMA here soon for anybody who has questions. But for now, feel free to message me here if you have questions and I’ll be happy to chat.
- My wife Sterling and I sold our home in Washington, DC and plan to travel, work remotely and just be a bit nomadic for the next couple years with our 18-month-old son Morrison. I’m excited to have more time to spend with my family, reading and thinking big thoughts.
There are just too many people to thank everybody. I’m not sure who you are reading this, but if we’ve interacted even once, you have my complete gratitude.
WordPress Planethas and will continue to be powered by the good will and positive energy of the WordPress community. I’ll continue to do everything in my power to give that back and pay it forward to the next generation of WordPress professionals, contributors and community members.
Onward and upward!