Stepping “down” at Yoast

Today we’ve announced that Marieke is the new CEO at Yoast, and I’m stepping down. With me recently stepping up as Marketing & Communications Lead for WordPress, this made a lot of sense. In many ways, Marieke was already the acting CEO at Yoast. While this step makes a lot of sense to us, it probably needs some explaining to the outside world.

We do things differently than many other companies do. We run Yoast with the four of us: Marieke, Omar, Michiel and myself. Marieke is always the one that forces us to move forward, to take decisions. Yoast Academy? Her work. Our HR strategy? Her work. Our project management team? Her work. Our research team? Led by her. And that’s not even close to a complete list. Of course there is stuff I do, Omar does and Michiel does, but Marieke is certainly the most prolific of the four of us.

While people seem to think I have been successful it really is we that have been successful. So henceforth I’ll be focusing more on what I am good at, and become Chief Product Officer. I’ll happily say “I don’t know, you’re the boss” from time to time, and that’ll be it. Not all that much will change for me, other than that we’ve switched offices, because she deserves to have the biggest office. But perceptions will change. And that’s good.

You see, all too often people have assumed that Marieke is my secretary. Or that she has a job at Yoast solely because she’s my wife. While she is my wife and I love her dearly, saying that does her great injustice. She’s one of the most capable persons I’ve ever met and I’m happy to be working with her every single day. I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing her thrive in her new role as much as I do.

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