EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2592 - July 22, 2011     1 of 2

Management Shakeup at Etsy - Kalin Is Out, Dickerson Is In

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Etsy's CTO Chad Dickerson will replace founder Rob Kalin as CEO, the company revealed on Thursday. In a blog post, Dickerson wrote that as CEO, he would focus the entire company on moving faster and more purposefully, learning by doing, iterating, and taking risks. "That's a long way of saying we're going to get things done."

Dickerson thanked Kalin in his post, and Board member and Venture Capital investor Fred Wilson also wrote on his own blog about the management change, but Kalin was conspicuously absent from writing a message himself on the Etsy blog, as Maria Thomas had done when she stepped down as CEO in 2009.

Hinting that the change in leadership was not harmonious, Wilson wrote, "Transitions are never easy on the people involved and the company that goes through them. But they are inevitable in any company's evolution. Some of them work out well and others not as much. But the role of the management and Board is to constantly try to have the right people in the right roles at the right time."

Kalin had made a series of controversial moves as he tried to make Etsy more social, including some that raised privacy concerns among buyers and sellers. And this week, the company announced the decision to do away with Chat Rooms, leaving members without their favorite way of connecting with each other.

But Wilson indicated the company would follow Kalin's direction, writing that Kalin had just completed a product roadmap that provides a guidepost for what Etsy will become in the coming years.

While best known as a marketplace for handmade goods, Etsy has a vibrant vintage marketplace as well. It has over 9 million registered users in 150 countries, over 800,000 active shops run by 400,000 active sellers, has over 1 billion page views per month, and has 200 employees. The amount of goods sold on the site (Gross Merchandise Sales) has grown from $166,000 in 2005 to $314.3 million in 2010.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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