Crowd Favorite Announces Chris Lema As New CTO

Crowd Favorite has appointed Chris Lema as the company’s new CTO. Alex King, the current CTO, will move into the Chief Software Architect role, allowing him to focus his expertise in product development and deep-level technical leadership with the company’s teams. Lema will begin in mid-September and use his product development experience to help bring the WordPress platform and WordPress products into Fortune 500 enterprises.

How Chris Lema Quickly Became A Leading Figure In The WordPress Community

Chris Lema Featured Image
Image Courtesy Of The WordCamp Miami Website has a great article covering the move, including a special one hour interview with Lema. I’ve jokingly said that Lema has come out of nowhere. Although I still hold to that notion, he explains in the interview, the circumstances that have helped him be successful in the WordPress community.

Lema has years of experience starting, managing, and selling startups especially within the Software as a Service market. With 20 years of experience under his belt, he decided to help others in the WordPress community by sharing stories of the lessons he’s learned from the mistakes he’s made using his blog.

Since the SaSS and product market in WordPress is so young, his voice and blog quickly became a leading authority. A combination of luck, experience, passion, personality, and timing helped him become an authority in the product space. Writing about the business of WordPress from a perspective not many people have is also a contributing factor.

A Few Predictions

Near the end of the interview, Lema makes a few predictions, all of which make sense to me. The first is that WordPress is growing on the edge. These are the people who have heard of WordPress and want to start a website but have no idea where to start. Lema predicts more out of the box solutions for these users. Evermore, Rain Maker, and Obox Instant are just some of the platforms already catering to that segment of the market.

The second is that WordPress businesses will continue to consolidate. Last but not least, product vendors will need to up their game to remain competitive. An example is WordPress hosting. What was once a wow feature two years ago is now a standard feature across most of the basic plans.

The Voice Of Crowd Favorite

With Lema’s ability to inspire crowds and motivate people with his speaking engagements, I can see him becoming the voice of Crowd Favorite. The announcement post mentions this possibility as well.

You will continue to hear from us through Chris with his valuable online presence. As a popular speaker at conferences and work with our sales and marketing teams, we know his voice will be a great addition to the Crowd Favorite brand.

I’ve had the pleasure to speak with Lema at various WordCamps and I can’t think of a better person to be the voice of a company.


7 responses to “Crowd Favorite Announces Chris Lema As New CTO”

  1. Here here! A rising tide lifts all boats. With Chris, Alex and Karim steaming full-speed ahead the entire community will benefit. WordPress will grow stronger at it’s core and allow the “Edge” users more choice and higher quality products.

    • Hey Chris, thanks for the shout out during the interview and I see I’ve left a lasting impression on you. With that said, this is the first time that I’ve really understood the circumstances that in many ways, lead to my remark of you seemingly coming out of nowhere. I am also impressed that you a fully aware of the things, timing, and other factors that helped contribute to your leadership in the WP community.

      As I mentioned in the post, what really struck home to me was when you discussed your time and experience in the product sector and the relationship between that kind of content on your blog to the youth of the WordPress product market. It’s almost as if the stars aligned. I didn’t think you would end up going with one specific WordPress company but Crowd Favorite is a dang good choice.

      I’m curious to know, are you still going to give advice, help out other companies and businesses with their products and services now that you’re employed by Crowd Favorite?

      • Hi Jeff,

        As CEO of Crowd Favorite I think I can answer it from my POV. This is something we’ve spent a lot of time talking about with Chris. We actually want him to keep doing what he’s been doing with his blog, with his speaking, and with his coaching. Because the sector we target is different enough from many others, we’re thrilled to support his efforts educating and coaching WordPress companies. Like Ben said above, a rising tide lifts all boats.

        Chris has worked with companies that look like competitors – folks like iThemes and WooThemes – and figured out how to help each without sharing proprietary information. We’re not worried about that. What we know is that many WordPress companies contribute back to the ecosystem. Some donate resources to write documentation. Others focus resources on contributing to core. We are excited to contribute Chris back to our community to help it in every way he knows how.


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