GitHub CEO steps sideways to explore new growth opportunities
As the social coding service passes 10 million repositories, co-founder Tom Preston-Werner moves to focus on R&D.
Trouble at the top for
GitHub? A change of CEO at most startups would spell trouble, but
for the social coding service it seems to be more a shifting of
In a blog post titled “New Year, New CEO for GitHub”,
co-founder Tom Preston-Werner announced that he was resigning from
the position of CEO, to be replaced by fellow co-founder Chris
Preston-Werner will instead serve as President, which
he says will involve taking responsibility for R&D and “new
Whereas in some companies the changing of managerial
roles might lead to a dramatic reshuffle throughout the company,
GitHub works a little differently. There are famously no managers
at GitHub, and all 227 staff members are free to work on whatever
As such, Wanstrath and Preston-Werner have already
been carrying out these duties for the past few months. “Today
we’re simply acknowledging the change publicly,” wrote the new
The announcement came with this adorable GIF of
Preston-Werner passing on his CEO hat and gaining his Presidential
What could these “new growth opportunities” consist
of? It’s thought that GitHub may be turning its attention to
drawing users from outside of its core programming userbase.
Earlier this month it acquired browser-based WYSIWYG web design
tool Easel, with its founders promising to improve the “workflow of
designing for the web” at their new home.
It’s not as though the five-year-old service needs to
worry about user growth. The 10 millionth
repository was created in December, and that number is rising
exponentially – this time last year, the site hosted just half that
number. Profitable from the very beginning, it has had just
one funding round in which is raised $100m.
GitHub’s meteoric rise has not been without its
hitches: the company’s repositories are a juicy target for hackers,
and the site as a whole has suffered from high-profile outages
caused by mysterious DDoS attacks.
Yet with a brand and core product so strong, and
continuous improvements additions such as
repository analytics, the company looks likely to keep going
for some time.