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Etsy replace chief executive after losses

By Mark Hayhurst 03 May 2017

There has been a shake-up at the top at Etsy following losses in the first quarter of 2017.

Chief executive Chad Dickerson, who was also chairman, has been replaced by former eBay executive Josh Silverman.

Etsy made a loss of $421 million in the first three months of the year, having earned $1.2 million a year earlier.

The company also announced an eight per cent cut to its workforce with the loss of 80 jobs.

Shares in the company fell 17 per cent in after hours trading in the US.

Etsy revealed it had sales of $96.9m in the three months to March, an 18 per cent increase from the year before.
However, that still came in below analyst estimates.

Dickerson said: “It has been an honour to lead Etsy as CEO for the past six years and the three years before that as CTO. The Board decided that it was time for new leadership to take Etsy forward and I support that decision. I deeply admire and respect each and every person on the Etsy team who has worked so hard during my tenure to deliver a great experience for Etsy buyers and economic empowerment for creative entrepreneurs around the world.

“I have the greatest degree of confidence in the long-term growth opportunities for Etsy under Josh’s leadership. I wish the company and the community the greatest success and look forward to supporting the
global community of Etsy sellers as a regular buyer after the transition.”

The company announced that the Etsy board of directors has appointed Silverman, a director on the board since November 2016, as CEO, effective from May 3.

Fred Wilson, who joined the Etsy Board in June 2007 and has served as lead independent director since October 2014, will succeed Dickerson as chair of the board.

As the new CEO of Etsy, Silverman has two decades of product development, marketing and e-commerce expertise.

He previously served as president of consumer products and services at American Express. Before American Express,
Silverman was CEO of Skype, CEO of shopping.com, an eBay company, and held various executive roles at eBay. He was also a co-founder and CEO of Evite Inc and he currently serves on the board of directors of Shake Shack.

Silverman said: “I have a deep appreciation for the mission of Etsy and the unique role that it plays in global e-commerce. Our focus will remain on delivering value to our community, including our shareholders. Having worked at other marketplaces, I recognize how difficult it is to create a differentiated value proposition for buyers that provides a unique opportunity for sellers—and Etsy has done that. In the coming weeks, I look forward to listening and learning from our employees, sellers, buyers and shareholders to help ensure we are focusing on the most value-enhancing near- and long-term opportunities.”

In addition, Etsy also announced that John Allspaw, chief technology officer, will be leaving the company and Mike Brittain, VP of Engineering, will be named interim CTO.

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