Last March, Thrillist hired Hearst Publications consultant, Philippe Guelton, as its President.Guelton was the first (and possibly the last) president the company will ever have.
This week, Guelton announced he’d be leaving Thrillist to become CEO of SheKnows, an Arizona-based women’s lifestyle company. Both he and Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer say the decision was mutual.
“I’m not parting on bad terms at all,” Guelton told Business Insider. “The opportunity Ben offered me was amazing and I enjoyed getting to go and work purely on the product…That was fun. This is different. Now I’ll be overseeing the product but its in a CEO role.”
Guelton’s departure seems to be the product of Thrillist growing too quickly. It’s actually a great problem to have.
Last year, Thrillist tripled the amount of revenue it generated and hired 130 people. When Guelton was hired, Lerer thought his company needed a President. But when you’re growing that fast, making long-term hiring decisions can be difficult.
“I got a little overzealous hiring more senior management than we needed,” Lerer says. “We got top heavy. There were too many cooks in the kitchen, each with their own opinions, and not necessarily enough people actually executing the plan.”
Lerer says he won’t be hiring a replacement for Guelton. “It turned out there wasn’t as big a role as we thought there’d be for a President. I love Philippe and want him to be happy but also want to make sure we’re always doing what’s best for the business. This is a good move for both Thrillist Media Group and Philippe.”
“While I had a great time in my current role of President at Thrillist Media Group, I am super excited to be able to run my own show again,” Guelton says.