Ever since the social networking service Pinterest was founded in 2010, it has been helmed by Ben Silbermann, one of its co-founders. Now, 12 years down the line, the company announced that Silbermann will be stepping down from his long tenure as Pinterest’s CEO.
Silbermann will be succeeded by Bill Ready, a long-term veteran of companies such as Google, PayPal, and Venmo. While Silbermann will transition to the (new) role of Pinterest’s Executive Chairman, Ready will ascend to the position of Pinterest’s CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. This will be effective from today, June 29, 2022.
The news of Silbermann’s departure saw the shares of Pinterest rise by as much as 9% to currently trade at $19.70. This is something that surely comes as a relief after the stock price of the image and media sharing service saw a steady decline over the past year.
An alumnus of the University of Louisville and Harvard Business School, Ready joined Google as President of Commerce in January 2020. In the next year, he was appointed President of Commerce, Payments, and Next Billion Users. He has also honed his leadership skills during his tenure with PayPal (its executive Vice President and COO), and Braintree and Venmo (CEO of both).
“In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see. Bill is a great leader for this transition. He is a builder who deeply understands commerce and payments. And he shares our passion for creating a positive corner of the Internet. I’m confident he’s going to be an outstanding CEO,” said Silbermann.
“There’s no better time to join Pinterest,” said Ready. “I have a deep appreciation for what it takes to scale a business like this to the next level. I look forward to working closely with Ben, the Board, and the rest of the leadership team to capitalize on the many opportunities ahead and usher in Pinterest’s next chapter of growth and success.”
What can we expect to see with a new face as Pinterest’s head? It remains to be seen whether the service succeeds in growing its user base – a considerable one of about 430 monthly active users – and follows major social media platforms in attracting and retaining more creators on its platform. If it does, then it will have a chance to move up the ranks and compete more thoroughly with platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Going forward, Ready intends to ensure that individuals engage more deeply with the products and services they find on Pinterest’s platform. Hopefully, this will also lead to Pinterest continuing to ensure more diversity and inclusion (Pinclusion) – something the company has tried to embrace and step down on gender discrimination and insensitivity in the workplace.