Etsy Inc. is replacing its current chief executive officer with Josh Silverman, a former ceo of Skype who has served on the board of the online marketplace for six months and the company is set to make further staff changes.
Silverman is taking over the role on Wednesday from Chad Dickerson, who became ceo in 2011 after serving three years as the company’s chief technology officer.
Dickerson said Etsy’s board “decided that it was time for new leadership to take Etsy forward and I support that decision.” He will stay on in an advisory role through the end of May.
“I have the greatest degree of confidence in the long-term growth opportunities for Etsy under Josh’s leadership,” Dickerson added. “I wish the company and the community the greatest success and look forward to supporting the global community of Etsy sellers as a regular buyer after the transition.”
Dickerson also chaired the company’s board, and that role will now be taken by Fred Wilson, a board member since 2007 and its lead independent director since late 2014.
Although Fred noted that under Dickerson’s leadership Etsy grew the revenue of sellers by nine times and the revenues generated by Etsy by 14 times, he said “Etsy is very fortunate to have Josh stepping into the ceo role at this time.”
Silverman joined Etsy’s board in November after working as president of consumer products and services at American Express. Previously, he was the ceo of Skype and before that ceo of Shopping.com, an eBay affiliate.
“I have a deep appreciation for the mission of Etsy and the unique role that it plays in global e-commerce,” Silverman said. “Having worked at other marketplaces, I recognize how difficult it is to create a differentiated value proposition for buyers that provides a unique opportunity for sellers — Etsy has done that. In the coming weeks, I look forward to listening and learning from our employees, sellers, buyers and shareholders to help ensure we are focusing on the most value-enhancing near- and long-term opportunities.”
Etsy also revealed its current cto John Allspaw will be leaving the company at the end of May and Mike Brittain, now vice president of engineering, will take up the position.
In addition to the executive changes, Etsy also released financial results for the first quarter of 2017, which carried on the previous year’s trend of revenue growth mixed with overall losses.
Etsy saw revenue for the quarter hit $96.9 million, an 18.4 percent bump over the same quarter last year, but posted a net loss of $421,000, compared to a net income of $1.19 million a year ago.
Operating expenses for the quarter totaled $64.3 million, a 36.4 percent increase over 2016 that is equal to 66.4 percent of Etsy’s revenue for the quarter.
Dickerson, making some of his last comments as ceo, pointed to the company’s continued investments in machine learning, search and marketing, as well as the recent launch of Etsy Studio, a separate online marketplace focused on craft supplies.
“Although a challenging February contributed to lower-than-anticipated first-quarter results, I am confident that the fundamental strength of Etsy’s business and its unique competitive position will drive long-term growth for all stakeholders,” Dickerson said.
February wasn’t the only challenge for the company however, as Etsy said it’s also set to eliminate 80 employee positions, or 8 percent of its workforce, to cut costs and “realign” resources.
“Etsy’s business has evolved significantly over the past 12 years and, while decisions like these are never easy, the board is confident that this initiative will give the company greater focus and agility in the near-term, while allowing the company to continue expanding in key growth areas,” Dickerson added.
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