Automattic, the company behind the blogging tool WordPress.com, is undergoing some major changes in its leadership, but no one’s leaving the company.
In a blog post, Matt Mullenweg, Automattic’s founder, announced that he will be replacing Toni Schneider as the company’s CEO. Though changeovers like this often means the other party is leaving, Mullenweg stated that Schneider will stay with Automattic, focusing on new products.
“Internally this isn’t a big change as our roles have always been quite fluid, and I’ve had some recent practice filling in for him for a few months last year when he was on sabbatical. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Toni over the years and I’m looking forward to putting that into practice,” Mullenweg wrote.
Braving the new world
Mullenweg pointed out that he is now “30 and two days old,” meaning he is ready to take on the leadership rein for the company he created when he was just 20. He intentionally held himself back from the head position, asking Scheider to serve as Automattic’s CEO in the startup’s early stages.
“[I]t’s obvious that no one in their twenties should run a company. They think they know everything,” Mullenweg pointed out.
The role swap is a mutual decision, as Schneider pointed out in his own blog post. He mentioned that a few months back, he started to feel like he wanted to do something else within Automattic, such as working on new product ideas. It was Schneider that pitched the role reversal to Mullenweg.
“Matt and I have been working side-by-side, building and running Automattic over the years, and he is without a doubt one of the most talented people in tech today, so I have full confidence that Automattic will continue to thrive after we make this change,” Schneider wrote.
Still on top
WordPress is now the number one publishing platform, powering 21 percent of all websites on the Internet, with WordPress.com being the eighth largest site on the Internet. Automattic’s services are used by almost a billion people each month, its team grew to a group of 231 people coming from various parts of the world, is profitable, and backed by noteworthy investors.
Mullenweg and Schneider are both very proud of what the company has accomplished since it was conceived, and they are optimistic that things will only get better from here on.
No word yet as to the specific products Schneider will be working on, but the time is nigh for innovation. WordPress faces creeping competition from Blogger and Tumblr, as media creation and distribution becomes an automated byproduct of today’s connected devices and cloud services.