This is a post about change. Winston Churchill said, “There is nothing wrong with change, as long as it is in the right direction.”
After 4.5 years at Bazaarvoice, I’m announcing a smooth and amicable departure from the company in order to pursue my next challenge and opportunity. (I announced this to our company last week at our quarterly all hands.)
This is not your typical resignation. You could call this a ‘planned’ or ‘friendly’ departure. During this time I plan to remain on as Bazaarvoice CMO while I help recruit for my successor (one of the reasons for this post), and upon my departure I will be on the Bazaarvoice Board of Advisors to help the company’s continued growth.
“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.” George Shinn
There are three reasons I’m making this announcement proactively:
- To stop speculation or assumptions about this move – before it begins. We are an open & transparent culture and such is the spirit of this transition. Frankly, more companies should do it this way.
- To announce the beginning of my journey to explore what’s next, and be able to have open discussions outside of Bazaarvoice.
- To publicize and market that one of the best CMO positions in the country is now open!
To start off, I love this company. I’ve been there since we launched the company in January 2006. Brett and Brant (co-founders) have graciously referred to me as a third co-founder, and I’ve felt that way. It’s what has made this decision so hard.
“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” William Drayton
My interest when we launched Bazaarvoice was to help invent where marketing was going. My objectives were to build the products, platform and brand that would be recognized as the leader in helping companies realize a new paradigm of high-ROI social marketing (i.e. social commerce). It’s been satisfying to consult directly with clients, helping them change the way they market, merchandise, improve products and change their culture. Along the way we defined a new market, build a great team, developed a great culture, and created an authentic brand in non-traditional ways. By all measures my expectations are far exceeded and I’m proud of how far our company has come in such a short time. Bazaarvoice now has offices in 8 countries and employs 550 people worldwide. I’m incredibly passionate about the customer-centric transformation we’ve had on 850 brands globally. These are the best people I’ve worked with on one of the most exciting missions in one of the most dynamic industries.
“Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau
My decision to move on is difficult and complex, from the head and the heart. It took time to get here. The short story is I’m interested in building another great company, and I shared my “itch” with Brett (our CEO). We’ve had open discussions for nearly six months about exploring new challenges and taking the next steps in my career. With full support from Brett and the board, we agreed we could make a smooth and positive transition that’s good for both the company and for my future.
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” Karen Kaiser Clark
As for the company, Bazaarvoice couldn’t be in a better position…which (as an investor) makes me comfortable about moving on. This is a fantastic time to find the next CMO. We’re an established market leader still growing at a blistering pace with new products serving new industries in new markets. Though I say this with some bias, the next CMO is coming into the best marketing team in the industry and has an opportunity to make a real difference. We regularly have marketers reach out to us about joining our team, and I openly welcome the candidate who is going to take this company and team to the next phase of growth. If that’s you, or you know someone great, I hope you’re reading this! Send me an email, tweet or message through LinkedIn.
In the meantime, I remain as Bazaarvoice CMO, pushing us forward as the leader in Social Commerce. Upon my departure (TBD), as I explore opportunities and ideas, I will be connected to Bazaarvoice as an advisor and consultant, and I may also consult to retailers, brands and other SaaS companies. I’m excited to uncover what’s next for me, and will share updates here or on Twitter/Facebook. I look forward to discussing new ideas, meeting new people, and exploring all sorts of change!
“When you're finished changing, you're finished.” Benjamin Franklin