Ben Silbermann, a founder and chief govt of Pinterest, stepped down from the highest job on Tuesday after greater than a decade of working the digital pinboard service and taking it public.

Pinterest didn’t give a cause for the change. Mr. Silbermann, 39, will turn into govt chairman. Bill Ready, who has run divisions inside PayPal and Google, was appointed Pinterest’s new chief govt.

Mr. Silbermann helped discovered Pinterest in 2010 and oversaw its progress into a spot the place 431 million individuals, principally ladies, save and share concepts for procuring, hobbies and recipes. Last 12 months, the corporate generated $316 million in revenue on income of $2.6 billion.

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Silbermann mentioned the choice to step down as chief govt got here after he assessed Pinterest’s objectives on the finish of final 12 months. The firm goals to make it simpler for individuals to take actions from the issues they save on Pinterest, together with procuring. Mr. Ready, who has twenty years of expertise engaged on funds and e-commerce companies, has “skill sets that would complement mine in helping achieve this goal,” Mr. Silbermann mentioned.

In 2019, he took Pinterest public amid a stampede of so-called unicorn start-ups that had waited as lengthy as attainable to faucet the general public markets and achieved sky-high valuations from non-public buyers.

Pinterest shares reached a excessive of $85 in February 2021 and closed at $19.70 on Tuesday, valuing the corporate at $13 billion — solely barely greater than it was value earlier than it went public. Its shares rose 4 p.c in after-hours buying and selling on the information of Mr. Silbermann’s exit as chief govt.

Pinterest had developed a repute as a “nice” firm that eschewed Silicon Valley’s start-up playbook of macho, swaggering hype, partly due to its feminine consumer base and Mr. Silbermann’s press-shy repute. But in recent times, the corporate got here underneath hearth as staff spoke out about their experiences with racism and sexism within the office.

In 2020, two former Pinterest staff, Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, tweeted about racist and sexist feedback, pay inequities and retaliation that that they had skilled on the firm. Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s No. 2 govt, additionally sued for gender discrimination and retaliation. The occasions impressed staff to stage a digital walkout in protest. Shareholder lawsuits adopted.

Last 12 months, Christine Martinez, an entrepreneur and buddy of Mr. Silbermann, additionally sued the corporate for breach of implied contract and concept theft, claiming she had helped create Pinterest alongside him and Paul Sciarra, one other founder.

Ms. Brougher’s go well with resulted in a $22.5 million settlement, which included a joint donation of $2.5 million to charities centered on ladies and other people of shade within the tech trade. Ms. Ozoma helped sponsor a brand new legislation in California which broadened protections for workers who converse out about discrimination and harassment at work.


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