There comes a time in a company’s growth when it is the right moment to bring in someone from outside to run the business. I feel like this is absolutely the right thing to do for WeTransfer now and I am really excited by this move.
Since Nalden and I started WeTransfer back in 2009, we’ve grown to 100 million monthly users, we have offices in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, we’ve been profitable since 2013 and our customers love us and trust us. All of that is a huge achievement of which I am very proud.
But there is an opportunity now to pick up the pace and expand into new markets, in particular the US, where we already have some big fans.
However much my soul is in WeTransfer, I have to admit that I don’t have the experience to expand the business on this scale and don’t feel like trying it. There are people out there who have the experience and who like the operational part — I don’t ;-) I’m a creative and a marketeer at heart and running a small startup is completely different from running an international company of more than 80 employees.
In Gordon we have found someone who does have that experience. He’s the heavyweight that I was looking for because, truth be told, I’m not that into implementing strategies and that kind of thing.
I have a really good feeling about this. We’ve talked a lot over the last few months and we are on the same track about so many things. I’ve learnt from him already and I can see that he has great respect and admiration for what we have done.
Of course, I won’t be disappearing. As Executive Chairman I will have more time to explore some of the things that really get me excited — overseeing our strategy, innovation and relationship building. Gordon and I will be sounding boards for each other. I will patiently lead the board and challenge the team by asking the right questions.
Being a founder is very much like being a parent. Your little baby grows up and you need to let them start doing things for themselves. You have to take a step back, even though you sometimes feel like you still want to hold their hand.
One of the things that makes WeTransfer such a cool place to work (I’m biased), is the brilliant company culture that we have built here. Gordon understands and values this and that’s one of the main reasons why the whole management team agreed that he’d be such a good fit with us.
From our collaborations with artists, to our beautiful and inspirational wallpapers and our blog This Works, we value design and creativity — and our customers respect us for it. Our recent rebrand, which has happened so smoothly and successfully, is a case in point.
You can be absolutely certain that Gordon will prioritise this company culture, as we grow, making sure that it evolves in a way that is right both for our users and our employees. As for me, I am also looking forward to getting inspired and working with the team on a human level in my new role, something I really missed over the last years.