As the technical founder of WP Engine, and the founder of several startups before WP Engine, it is my honor and privilege to do what I love for a living — inventing and building products that people actually want.
As the CEO of WP Engine for the past three years, it’s also been my honor and privilege to have worn all the other hats, not just writing code. In the early days, all of us were support, engineering, and sales. For more than a year, I was also marketing, finance, HR, and the janitor.
I love that too — doing lots of different things, every day different, every day a struggle and many days difficult, but in the good way, like when you have a great work-out and the next day you’re sore but happy.
Today, as we grow past 80 employees, the job of the CEO has changed considerably. It’s not about some “hero” founder doing everything himself — all the work, and all the decisions. It’s about building teams, and teams of teams, hiring people who are more talented and wise than the CEO (or founder!) at each position, empowering those people to lead and grow, coordinating everyone around common goals, and ensuring our company values grows stronger as we grow, not diluted as we lose the ethos that earned us our current place in the market and our customers’ hearts.
We need the best person for this new job, and after working side-by-side every day for the past six months with our amazing COO, Heather Brunner, I’m thrilled to announce that Heather is that best person! As of today, Heather is officially our CEO.
I will be continuing the technical innovation charge as CTO.
As you might imagine, it took months of soul-searching and collaboration to reach this decision, and I’m confident it’s the right one. Heather’s 20+ years of experience leading fast-growing teams in all disciplines, while preserving both performance and culture, has already prove invaluable to us. Working with Heather has been like adding a co-founder — someone equally dedicated to the company, both to our commitment to our customers, employees and culture, working has hard and as long as I do, caring as much as I do, but with a complementary and vital skill set.
This also means I’m free to focus on what I love best and what I do best, which is building tech. As a company, it means we’ll have even more focus on innovation, in growing the team, in accelerating the rate at which we bring you new features, as well as more work under the hood making your sites fast, scalable, and secure.
Please join me in welcoming Heather in her new role, and me in mine!
Post was updated to reflect Jason’s continued on-going involvement with WP Engine as CTO