I’m excited to share the news, just out this morning, that Mark Davies will soon join Automattic as Chief Financial Officer.
I joined Automattic as CFO in 2012 when we had about 100 employees and were in the early days of scaling the business. I had helped organizations grow from that level before; my skills and passions were an excellent fit. Since then, we’ve built Automattic to over 1,100 people, increased revenue by 10x, and welcomed some fantastic new investors. It’s been amazing.
I’m as passionate about Automattic today as I was when I first arrived. But we are a different organization at a different stage that needs a different set of skills and experience from its CFO. When we began this search in January, I had three attributes in mind for an ideal candidate: the know-how, record of success, and interest in building finance for companies of thousands of staff and billions of dollars in revenue across multiple business lines; fluency with the subscription business model; and enough experience working with iconic founders to keep up with Automattic’s inimitable Matt Mullenweg.
Mark matches those attributes perfectly and is an exceptional fit with what Automattic needs now. He has built and managed successful finance teams at large organizations ranging from Vivint to Alcoa to Dell. He spent the past six years building a recurring revenue business. And he spent a decade working closely with Michael Dell, one of technology’s most iconic founders. It’s rare to complete a search with a 100% hit rate on your ideal attributes. With Mark, I believe we did.
The only bittersweet thing is that it means I’ll spend less time with the teams I’ve built over the past few years. As I’ve said here on this blog, I consider these to be some of the most talented, committed, and passionate people on earth. I am so proud to have been able to lead and learn from them. It was important to me that they be in good hands with a new CFO; I’m confident they will be.
Welcome, Mark! I believe you’re going to have a huge impact at Automattic and look forward to supporting your transition into the role.
This morning, the news hit both from our founder Matt Mullenweg on his blog and also from Romain Dillet at TechCrunch that Salesforce has invested $300 million into Automattic. I’m so excited to welcome the Salesforce team to our family of amazing investors.
On Wednesday night I attended the Bay Area CFO of the Year Awards, an annual tradition that supports the great work Larkin Street Youth Services does to help homeless and at-risk youth in San Francisco.
I ended up winning the award for Emerging Company CFO of the Year. Past honorees at this event include people I’ve admired and looked up to in Silicon Valley like the CFOs of Apple, Google, Intel, Cisco, eBay, and Pixar. What a cool honor.
Awards like this go to an organization and team more than an individual. Automattic is an extraordinary place, and the teams I lead include some of the most talented, committed, and passionate people on earth. I am so lucky I can work with them, every day, to help build our company and support the WordPress community.
Related, the San Francisco Business Times today has a profile notable for its photo of me next to the most CFO-y thing in my house: my kids’ toy abacus. 🙂
P.S. we’re hiring.
Seen while jogging at an Automattic team meetup in Palermo, Sicily.
News is out both on our founder Matt Mullenweg’s blog and on Re/code about Automattic’s $160 million fundraising. I’m really excited about what this new capital means for Automattic’s ability to support WordPress. Welcome to new investors including Deven Parekh at Insight, Chris Sacca, and the Endurance team. And thanks to Tiger Global and True Ventures for their continued support.
Looks like WordPress.com just moved up one spot to #7 in Quantcast’s rankings of U.S. websites. Congrats to all our amazing publishers and bloggers, plus the Automattic team!
A fun new book came out today by the talented Scott Berkun, a former Automattic employee. It’s called The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work (an inside joke about the sartorial options available to people who mostly work from their homes). It tells the story of Automattic’s model for distributed work, our balance of creativity and technology, and what it’s like to work on WordPress.com (which has passed Yahoo in Quantcast’s ranking of U.S. websites). If you want to know more about what it’s like to work at Automattic, check it out!