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.

A headshot of Joost de Valk, author.

Joost de Valk

Joost is an internet entrepreneur from Wijchen, the Netherlands. He is the founder of Yoast. Joost is married to Marieke, who is also Yoast's former CEO. Marieke and Joost have 4 kids together and run Emilia Capital together, an investment firm.


Yoast ยป Stepping “down” at Yoast

8 thoughts on “Stepping “down” at Yoast”

  1. Very cool and exciting for Marieke. And it sounds like at this point in life you are doing what will make you most happy. You both make a great team, inside and outside of Yoast. Wishing you both the best as you move forward ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Congrats to Marieke and Good luck with the new position Joost. I know how tricky is working with family members if you don’t master its Art! ๐Ÿ˜€ as I’m doing it now and looking at a successful company such as Yoast it means you guys have mastered it as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Congratulations to both Marieke and Joost! My wife and I thank you both for your efforts to overcome so many challenges to make our work that much easier! And we are pretty excited to see where Yoast is going to go next and how WordPress will improve. We wish you clear minds, blue skies, and lots of fun along the way!

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