Yesterday, on the heels of his 30th birthday, WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg announced that he would be taking over as CEO of Automattic, the company he founded just over eight years ago, marking a transition from his focus on tech and product to business.
He will be swapping roles with Toni Schneider, who announced in a blog post yesterday that he felt a “sense of completion” in regard to Automattic’s early goals and that he was ready to “work on some new product ideas.” Schneider will fill the role of advisor that Mullenweg has held.
“Internally this isn’t a big change as our roles have always been quite fluid,” Mullenweg posted. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Toni over the years and I’m looking forward to putting that into practice.”
The community is welcoming this role reversal:
While both Mullenweg and Schneider are positioning this swap as not having a major effect on the day-to-day of the business, this does bring up a few questions. Will the new product ideas Schneider wants to focus on go beyond the scope of WordPress and expand Automattic’s web footprint? And while Mullenweg has always been a crucial part of the company, this is a significant shift from development to business. How will this effect him and the trajectory of the business? It’s an exciting time at Automattic and we’ll have to wait to see how all of this plays out.
We have to wonder if this was the plan all along—waiting until he was “mature” enough for the role of CEO. What do you think? Either way, it’s a quite a birthday present!
Suzy Brannon started her career writing for TechTV and
CNET. She has worked as a product manager for numerous sites, and is an avid baker.