Roughly eight months after taking the top job, Evernote’s CEO announced a new team of lieutenants on Friday that he hopes will return the company to its glory days.
Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill introduced a group of seven execs to help run the company. The execs come from Google, Skype, HP, Logitech, Microsoft, Motorola, and VMware. The new team replaces many of the senior execs who have moved on from the company in recent months.
O’Neill, who himself came from Google X when he replaced Evernote’s founder CEO in July, hopes to rekindle growth at the troubled startup, which was valued at $2 billion 2012 before it began to implode last fall.
Despite reaching 150 million registered users last year, Evernote struggled to grow revenue and in 2015, things started to fall apart. Execs and employees were bailing, and then it hit cost-cutting mode, announced a series of layoffs and closed three of its 10 global offices.
O’Neill is tasked with giving Evernote more focus.
The people joining the team are Erik Wrobel, new head of product; Raymond Tang, new head of China; Andrew Malcolm new head of marketing; Ben McCormack, new head of Technical Operations; Nate Fortin, new head of design; Michelle Wagner new head of HR; and Azmat Ali new head of brands.
Here’s the relevant parts of O’Neill’s blog post.
In taking charge of our Product team, Erik Wrobel is leveraging 20 years of experience in product management, most recently as VP of Product at VMware where he started the cloud management product line and got hands-on with deeply technical engineering teams. He brings a wealth of technology experience to Evernote, along with the sort of deep understanding that can guide the business for years to come.
In China, we now have more than 16 million registered users and an independently operating business known as Yinxiang Biji. Raymond Tang, our new leader for Evernote China, has more than 20 years of tech industry experience with companies such as Nokia and Microsoft. Raymond’s ability to work seamlessly with teams from multiple functions will be essential for growing and scaling our burgeoning business in China, bringing the organisation together to ensure that we are one Evernote team.
On the Marketing side, Andrew Malcolm exemplifies the ability to fearlessly dive into the details while also thinking at scale. In his first 100 days, he’s taken huge strides in evolving our brand narrative, identifying emerging market trends, renewing our marketing infrastructure, and helping new users discover the value of Evernote more quickly. Andrew’s experience guiding Skype through years of 40% increases in users gives us the foundation required to manage hyper-growth, while time spent at technology investment fund Silver Lake gives him a broad perspective about where markets are headed.
Ben McCormack, our new head of Technical Operations, has spent his career building and managing large scale infrastructure to support the needs of a diverse customer base. More recently, he has deep experience in cloud computing and is bringing that experience to Evernote as we map a future architecture for our service.
Great user experiences begin with great design. Nate Fortin has brought an increased focus on early prototyping to our Design team, with regular feedback from users driving a more focused and engaging Evernote experience. Nate brings a wealth of expertise from his time at Motorola, where he led design for the mobile device market. The critically acclaimed Moto X phone and Moto 360 smartwatch products exemplified Nate’s context-driven design approach.
By hiring leaders who are team members first and foremost, Evernote is building an organizational culture that innovates, looks forward, and helps its people do their best work while adding the capabilities we need to manage growth. As the new leader of our People Operations team, Michelle Wagner is applying nearly 20 years of experience in HR for software companies to grow and find some of the best talent in the industry.
Finally, Azmat Ali joins us at the head of our Brand organisation. Azmat brings 20 years of experience in marketing for major technology brands like HP and Logitech, but it’s his start-up scrappiness that really stands out. Here is a brand leader who not only conceives of the Boom Bus to launch the UE Boom but also personally drives it up and down the California coast. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do for us.
These talented executives join a group that includes Seth Hitchings, a six-year Evernote veteran who has assumed the leadership of our Engineering organisation, and Jeff Shotts, our CFO and a passionate champion of Evernote. Seth, Jeff, and many others across the company will ensure that even as we pass the baton from an incredible founding team to a new generation of leaders, we will never forget how we got here.