Musical chairs Silicon Valley: GoPro exec Zander Lurie leaves to become CEO at SurveyMonkey
Lurie had previously been on the board of SurveyMonkey, now he becomes CEO, while also being appointed to the board of GoPro
A day after GoPro announced fourth-quarter results would miss investors’ expectations and that there would be layoffs, the company’s SVP, Entertainment announced that he would be leaving the company to become CEO at SurveyMonkey. Lurie, though, isn’t leaving GoPro completely, he was also made a member of GoPro’s board of directors. A great day for Lurie, not so much a good one for GoPro (time will tell concerning SurveyMonkey).
GoPro won’t release its earnings report until February 3, and the company said it expects that it will report a 16 percent increase in revenue to $1.6 Billion for 2015, but that will be less than previous forecasts, so investors are hitting the stock hard this morning, GoPro shares are down nearly 20 percent in pre-market trading this morning.
As for SurveyMonkey, it has had a rough ride of late. The company’s CEO, David Goldberg died suddenly last May. Goldberg was the husband of Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Zander Lurie was named interim CEO at that time, but two months later Bill Veghte left his position as Executive Vice President at Hewlett-Packard to take the CEO role at the company.
That has apparently not worked out so well:
“We had a variety of options and, as I worked them through, the investors wanted to pursue a different path,” Veghte told re/code. “We felt the best way for me to serve was as a board member and I am super excited to help Zander.”
Here is SurveyMonkey’s announcement on Lurie’s appointment as CEO:
PALO ALTO, Calif. – January 14, 2016 — SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading online survey and data insights platform, today announced changes to the company’s leadership structure. SurveyMonkey’s current chair of the board, Zander Lurie, has been named chief executive officer of the company, following Bill Veghte’s decision to step down as CEO. Mr. Lurie and Mr. Veghte will both continue to serve on SurveyMonkey’s board of directors. Finally, current board member, David Ebersman, will become chair of the board. The company indicated that all these changes will become effective starting January 16, 2016.
Ben Spero, SurveyMonkey board member and managing director at Spectrum Equity, said, “SurveyMonkey has long benefited from Zander’s presence on the board, and we are thrilled for him to become CEO. We are confident that Zander’s vision, leadership and experience at transformative companies will help SurveyMonkey extend its leading position in the market.”
Mr. Lurie said, “SurveyMonkey is a truly special company that I’ve had the honor to be part of for a long time. I am passionate about our mission and commitment to developing valuable insights solutions for our customers. We have the management team, investor base, board of directors and brand equity to significantly expand our business in the years to come. I’m excited to be part of this great team.”
Mr. Spero continued, “We also sincerely thank Bill for his contributions to the company and look forward to working with him on the board. He played an important role during a critical time in the company’s history. His leadership and connection to employees remain incredibly valuable to SurveyMonkey.”
Mr. Veghte said, “I am excited to continue working with Zander and the rest of the board to help SurveyMonkey reach its full potential. It is a great company with a bright future. It is a privilege to be part of the SurveyMonkey team.”
Mr. Lurie previously served as Senior Vice President of Entertainment at GoPro. Prior to GoPro, he was SVP of Strategic Development at CBS Corp. and CFO of CBS Interactive. Prior to the sale of CNET Networks to CBS, Zander served as CFO and SVP of Strategy and Development. Earlier in his career he spent six years as an investment banker in the Technology Group at J.P. Morgan. Following the passing of Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey’s renowned CEO, Mr. Lurie served as temporary executive chair of the company while continuing his role at GoPro. He has served on SurveyMonkey’s board since 2009.
SurveyMonkey transformed the traditional survey and market research industries when it introduced its online platform in 1999, and today, the company is the market leader in online surveys with over 25 million customers. In April 2015, it launched SurveyMonkey Benchmarks, a powerful data offering that organizations of all sizes can use to understand how their performance stacks up to peers, competitors and companies of similar size.
SurveyMonkey investors include Tiger Global Management, Spectrum Equity, T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley Asset Management, Baillie Gifford, Google Capital and Social Capital.