Today I’m delighted to share that from July 1, after nearly 10 years as CEO, I’m moving into the role of Chairman of Intercom, and am thrilled to announce that Karen Peacock, our COO, will become our new CEO!
Here are the emails we sent to the company this morning.
Thanks so much for your time at All Hands. Here’s a summary of what was shared.
I’m going to be moving to the Chairman role at Intercom, and I’m delighted to announce that Karen is going to be moving to the role of CEO!
Let me back up and share some context. I’ll explain why, why now, what I’ll be doing as Chairman, and why I want Karen to be our next CEO.
Intercom has been no less than the adventure of a lifetime:
- We created a whole new category. Now the very biggest public software companies are eager to bring conversational experiences to their customers too, and a hundred startups have been created to do the same.
- We transformed an industry. From the way software is marketed to the way it’s built, you can see Intercom DNA in the technology companies who came after us.
- We built an iconic brand. A name and a logo that is recognized and respected, for the work we do and the people who do it.
- We hit hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, and over a billion dollars in business value. We started at 50 bucks a month. Now we’re signing multimillion dollar contracts.
- We hired a thousand incredible humans. For many, many years we’ve been onboarding people by the dozen each week with so much more experience that we founders ever had.
- And for me personally, I made some of the most wonderful friends for life.
Over the past few years I’ve been thinking about what I want my next chapter to look like. I’ve known I wanted to move to the Chairman role at Intercom eventually and when I hired Karen 3 years ago I told her this plan. I told her that the ideal end-state for her here would be as CEO. Since then, Karen’s become my main strategic partner and a leader through our biggest opportunities, and someone I increasingly was excited to take on more and more responsibility, and ownership of what we do.
At the start of this year it became clear to me that 2020 was the year for my big change—my tenth year working on Intercom. We just completed our very successful strategic pivot upmarket, seeing insane growth there, and have line-of-sight to profitability, and IPO soon after, and a full exec bench with Dan Griggs, our new CFO, on-board and up to speed. So I decided that the time is right for me, and importantly that the time is right for Intercom.
The biggest challenge is that this is a tough time for change. There’s already so much going on in our world, which started with the coronavirus crisis and now with one of the most significant civil rights movements of our time. I paused these plans when the pandemic began in February and focused on helping us get set up to weather that storm. We now have a plan that I feel really great about and am confident that we’re ready to push forward.
Over the past month or so I presented this plan to the board and our investors and got their full support and we just agreed on the change. Starting July 1 I’ll be Chairman and Karen will be our new CEO!
In the Chairman role I’ll lead the board, I’ll provide strategic leadership on our biggest ideas and milestones, and I’ll work directly with Karen and other leaders on product and marketing strategy. So I’ll be very much around, building on my strong partnership with Karen, fighting alongside you as your Intercomrade for all the years to come. And yet Karen will be your new CEO and the person in charge, and I’m so very excited about that.
Karen will be a great CEO for us in our new strategic push and for the big milestones ahead. She’s a brave and highly strategic leader who loves big bets. She’s incredibly ambitious for Intercom and knows we’re only getting started. She’s a product nerd through and through, who gets very excited about not only the things we’re building but how we build them. She’s a principled leader, grounded in her own values and those of our great company. And she’s a caring colleague and friend, with a keen interest in working with and supporting the whole person in a really special way.
While this is not goodbye, this is a very big milestone for me and I really want to share the great gratitude I’m feeling right now.
- First off to Karen. Thank you for your strategic leadership and your ambition for Intercom. I’m very grateful for our partnership and I’m very excited for our path ahead together in our new roles.
- To our customers who’ve helped us bring our mission to make internet business personal to life. It’s been so amazing to watch what they’ve done with our platform.
- To our board and investors, who bet on a kid who had only a vision for a better way to do business online and an energetic pitch, and their support of me from start to finish.
- To the exec team, my partners in this endeavor. For all the fun we had building this, their belief in our grand goals, and their insanely hard work.
- To every one of the 1000+ Intercomrades over the years. To everyone who took a bet on an unproven thing, everyone who contributed to where we are today and brought their unique and incredible talents and made this place their own.
- To the founding team in the first couple years. The truly crazy ones who jumped on-board the messy thing that we were. I have hundreds – maybe thousands – of photos of our young, happy, excited faces. I feel so much love for you.
- And finally to my co-founders. We were 4 youngsters with wide eyes and big dreams and we somehow figured it out. Those guys would be truly and completely shocked at what we achieved.
I am incredibly bullish on this plan and our future. And I’m particularly excited about this year, what we’re building, the big bet we’re making and all the years ahead.
Nearly 10 years ago, Eoghan had the vision for business messaging. Intercom was founded one month before Snapchat, and the same year as Facebook Messenger. Intercom started with a huge mission – to make internet business personal – and a big idea – the world’s first business messenger – and turned those ideas and that vision into something real. Intercom is the kind of company and brand that when you say you are from Intercom, people share how much they love our company, product, brand, and content. I saw something special 3 years ago, when I joined Intercom, and I see that today.
Intercom is on an incredible path. Eoghan is a visionary. He is a creator and inventor and still gets excited about all of the cool things we do almost 10 years later. Eoghan is a trend setter and a creative tastemaker – a whole generation of startups have been inspired by Intercom – our products, our design, our marketing. Eoghan led this and made this happen. He is also a kind, generous and authentic leader who genuinely connects with and cares about people and as a result, we see those values reflected in our culture today.
I’m so happy for Eoghan. Transitioning to the chairman role was something he wanted and planned for a while now. It lets him continue to help us strategically and also makes space for some new endeavors for him. I’m excited to see what those are.
What all of us have built here so far – together – is incredible. We have even bigger ambitions going forward and a bright future ahead.
Serving customers of increasing complexity and scale
Our next step is to build on all of the success of the past and continue to work with bigger and bigger businesses, and well known brands. We’re already seeing this. The best brands in the world, including Amazon, Facebook, and Lyft, are starting to use Intercom, and our logo and our Messenger is looking right at home, side by side with them.
Accelerating our business momentum
We are beating our new business growth goals. We have a clear path to profitability. We are doing the things we need to do now to start building the foundations for an IPO in a few years.
Innovating and re-inventing with our products
We have a big product vision, and we are audacious. Our Messenger and platform are changing the way businesses build relationships with their customers. Very soon we are going to re-invent customer support, turning it from reactive to proactive, from blind to contextual, from all human or all mechanical to the best of both worlds, learning every day. This is next generation support.
Investing in our people
People are important at Intercom. I’m so proud of our team, and we will invest in developing and growing as individuals and as a team. We care about each other, we cheer for each other, we help each other. Tomorrow is Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in America. You’ve seen some of what we are doing to promote anti-racism, and we will do more. Next week is Pride Week, and we have some things planned to honor that. This is just a start – there is more we must do and will do around diversity and inclusion. We will work to accelerate the changes we want to see in the world.
Thank you all so much – we would not be here without the brilliant work of each of you. Our future is bright and it is about to get even more exciting. We will build it together. I look forward to talking more about all of this in July.