Joost de Valk talks about his recent marketing position for WordPress, the challenges he faced and why he's ultimately stepped down.
I’m going to step away from my role as Marketing Lead. I consider this mostly a personal failure, both in correctly setting and getting expectations and in fitting into another type of organization. Matt and I have talked this through and there are no hard feelings on either side whatsoever. At the same time I’m sad about not having been able to leave more of a mark. Let me explain why I’m stepping down. When I first talked to Matt about this role he asked me to become “the CMO of WordPress”. In my eyes, a CMO is involved in all aspects of a project / company. When I was announced, I was announced as a “change in WordPress leadership”. My experience over the last few months made me feel that while I was doing things and getting things done, I certainly wasn’t leadership. Which is why I want to step away from my role: I don’t want to pretend I have a say in things I don’t have a say in.
What is marketing?
It seems the problem of defining of what marketing is beforehand, is one of the problems of why I failed in my role. Marketing to me is not just the last step of “promotion”, but the entire process of bringing a
Today team Yoast have announced that Marieke is the new CEO 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