It’s the end of an era at RevZilla: cofounder Anthony Bucci is stepping down as CEO effective Jan. 13.
The news comes one year after bike gear ecommerce company announced a partnership with private equity firm J.W. Childs, which owned another biking gear big-timer: Cycle Gear, based in California. The two businesses would come under a holding company called Comoto Holdings.
The Inquirer’s Joe DiStefano first reported the news yesterday.
Here’s DiStefano’s take on why Bucci left:
Check, for a moment, the boardroom math: The Philly squad – the three cofounders – are a minority on the combined board of the controlling company, Comoto Holdings; they are outnumbered by the Childs reps.
So Bucci couldn’t stay if the investors had decided it was time to find someone else to scale up the business, which has grown from 170 folks in office, warehouse, marketing and software last winter to around 220 since the big deal.
Cofounder Matt Kull, currently COO, will be stepping in as interim CEO as the company begins the search for a new exec to lead the company.
— The UpSide (@UpsideStories) December 20, 2016
We reached out to Bucci in the hopes of clearing up what the diStefano hinted at in his piece: Was this always the plan when the joint venture went down? Was there pressure from the boardroom to oust him as CEO?
“If the questions is, ‘Has this been the plan all along?’ The answer is no,” Bucci told Technical.ly over the phone. “I looked at my skill set with the next steps ahead, and I thought that there might be additional experience that might be great for the company.”
(Here, we’re reminded of how Lucinda Duncalfe took over for Monetate cofounder and CEO David Brussin, about a year after Brussin told the Daily News that he hoped to take the company public.)
Interim CEO Kull also hopped on the call to make it clear, under no uncertain terms, that the plans is still for RevZilla to remain a Philly company. If the selected CEO is an out of towner, that person would have to relocate to Philadelphia.
“We’re going to move as expeditiously as we can to find the right person,” Kull stated. “That being said we’re not in a rush.”
As for the decision itself, which Bucci claims as his own, he said it wasn’t easy.
“It’s a hard, very bittersweet decision because I love this business and running it, but the goal is that the right leadership is in place to allow this business to span decades,” he said.
So … anyone on the market for a CEO gig?
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