Today Pinterest announced that co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and President, Ben Silbermann will transition to the newly created role of Executive Chairman, and online commerce expert Bill Ready will become Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective June 29, 2022. See Press Release Here.
Ben sent an email to employees at Pinterest, which we are sharing below:
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Title: Help me welcome our new CEO, Bill Ready
After more than a decade running Pinterest, I’ve decided to move into a new role, Executive Chairman. While it feels a bit weird typing these words, more than anything, I’m excited because tomorrow our new CEO will be Bill Ready. I want to share how I came to this decision.
One of my rituals to start every year is writing a list of ideas and aspirations for Pinterest. Some of those ideas turn into new products. Others result in acquisitions. This year, a top priority was identifying new leaders with skills that complement mine.
I held time on my calendar every week to meet executives across a range of industries. Bill stood out. Over months of conversations and dinners, he impressed me with his insights, experience and values. Bill understands deep down that Pinterest is still early in its story. Over time, I decided he would be an outstanding CEO for our next chapter. Our board of directors met him and felt the same way.
Most recently, Bill was President of Commerce, Payments & Next Billion Users at Google. Before that, he was Chief Operating Officer at PayPal, and CEO of both Braintree and Venmo.
At his core, Bill is a builder. He has led small startups and global organizations. He deeply understands commerce and payments. And, he shares our passion for creating a positive corner on the internet—a place that enriches your real life instead of distracting you from it.
As you can imagine, this was a hard decision. So much of my heart belongs to Pinterest. I guess you could call it a founder’s love. And, when you care about something so much, the natural instinct is to hold it as tight as you can. But often, the most loving thing to do is let it go and watch it flourish in new ways. That’s what is going to happen with Bill at the helm.
I’m not leaving. Being executive chairman will let me focus on what I love: meeting Pinners, nurturing new products, and advising on long-term strategy. My new role reminds me a bit of what I did in the early days.
When we started Pinterest, it was more art project than business. I knew most Pinners by their first name. We obsessed over every pixel, feature, and word in our product. I posted my cell phone number on our website to show there was a real person who cared about every user. Thank goodness for unlimited minutes!
Today Pinterest has grown beyond anything I could have imagined. If our Pinner community were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. From Rotterdam to Louisville, folks have welcomed me into their homes to show how Pinterest inspired their lives. We have incredible new products in development that I can’t wait to ship. And remarkably, our little art project has even grown into a public company with billions of dollars in revenue and customers around the world.
Most meaningful to me, we’ve always remembered that behind all the metrics and dashboards, there are still real people who care deeply about every Pinner’s well being. Our most cherished value, Put Pinners First, is embedded in everything we do.
Sometimes people ask me: How did this all happen? Well, the answer is because of all of you. Pinterest wasn’t built by me. It was built by us. And, I love being part of this team. You are not only wildly talented, but also kind, creative and humble. Working with all of you continues to be the biggest gift of founding Pinterest.
One final thought. For our very first company offsite, I took our 12 person team to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. We were so excited to need not just one, but TWO vans to get there—a true sign of growth. I wrote down one of Walt Disney’s quotes: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
Working with you, I’ve learned firsthand that it is indeed fun to do the impossible. And with Bill as our CEO, I know that the fun is just getting started.
With all of my love and gratitude,
PS: Tomorrow, Bill and I will be doing Q&A together. I hope to see you there so we can give him a warm welcome.