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Changing of the Guard at Etsy Signals a More Corporate Outlook

Startup champion Caterina Fake is out, M. Michele Burns is in. That’s the word from Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson who said Fake stepped down from the company’s Board of Directors, while Burns has joined the Etsy Board.

The contrast between the two is striking. Fake is an entrepreneur who cofounded Flickr and Hunch. She joined Etsy’s board in 2006 and was Chairman of the Board since 2009.

Burns, meanwhile, is as corporate as they come with a background in finance and having worked for the likes of Arthur Andersen, Marsh & McLennan and Mercer, where she was Chairman and CEO.

Perhaps most interestingly she previously sat on the board of Wal-Mart, among others. Her Wikipedia profile points out her income in 2010 was $4.6 million.

The reason for Fake’s departure: “After serving eight years on Etsy’s board, she decided in July to step down to focus on family, cancer research, and doing what she does best: guiding startups and putting them on a solid path to success.”

Dickerson said the departure and addition to the board “say a lot about how far we’ve come and how well-positioned we are to extend Etsy’s reach in the world.”

He will succeed Fake in the position of Chairman.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.