Matt Mullenweg Takes On New Role As CEO of Automattic

photo credit: LeWeb 2010
photo credit: LeWeb 2010

After celebrating his 30th birthday this weekend, Matt Mullenweg announced that he has accepted a new role as CEO of Automattic.

Toni Schneider joined Automattic as CEO eight years ago in January 2006 and has helped to expand Automattic’s reach to what he says is close to a billion people each month. But Schneider isn’t saying goodbye. He’s swapping roles with Matt who will now become the new CEO, as Matt announced in his post this morning:

Today we’re announcing publicly that Toni and I are switching jobs — he’s going to focus on some of Automattic’s new products, and I’m going to take on the role of CEO. Internally this isn’t a big change as our roles have always been quite fluid

I asked Matt if the new role would change his relationship and involvement with, but it turns out that it won’t bring too big of a change to his day-to-day. He replied, “No major changes planned, as things are working very well already.” The business of Automattic, which was started to help make WordPress simple to setup and host, is entirely separate from the open source project. Its growth has mirrored the success of the open source software, with WordPress currently powering 21.2% of the web.

Congrats to both Matt Mullenweg and Toni Schneider on their new positions in Automattic. With their flagship product now ranked 8th for traffic in the US, I’d say the two are working together quite successfully.

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  1. Hi Sarah
    “…has helped to expand Automattic’s reach to close to a billion people each month.”

    That is some achievement and I for one wish them continued success.


  2. If the roles are so fluid, what prompts such a change to begin with?

    Matt: Hey Toni, want to swap job titles?
    Toni: Sounds good. Let’s draft a press release.

    From a procedural standpoint, how does something like this come to pass?


    1. That’s the first question I had. Matt mentions in his post that “Internally this isn’t a big change as our roles have always been quite fluid” so then why make the switch? What are the biggest differences in the roles for which the change needed to be made?


  3. I suspect it’s a PR thing. MW is already the face of Automattic, so it makes sense that he would be CEO as well. That and he can put, “I’m CEO, bitch” on his business card.


    1. LOL. I think the answer is within Toni’s post. Most of the initial company goals have been accomplished and this new position gives him a chance to try and execute on new ideas/services. That should help with the boredom and not wanting to launch another startup.


  4. I admire them, not many company in the world deliver all the benefit and values that Automattic dose. Hope everything goes even better for Matt, Toni and the whole team.


  5. Hi Sarah,

    In your report you mention – “expand Automattic’s reach to close to a billion people each month”.

    That to me sounds a bit of an implausible statistic as the total inhabitants of earth now stands at just over 7.2 billion people, reported domain registrations stands at around 600 million while actual live sites is reported to be somewhere below 200 million.

    With a reported 20.1% penetration of WordPress across these sites that would account for give or take 40 million (live) sites.

    Without going into a lot of other queries and / or statistics, what intrigues me is where and how did they get the data for this statement?


    1. @Wim – following your calculation, half of those is on, thus 20 million (live) sites and then each site has an average amount of visitors (i.e. reach) of 50 visitors :)


    2. Per Toni Schneider’s blog post.

      WordPress is the #1 publishing platform in the world and powers 21% of all web sites on the internet. Automattic’s services reach close to a billion people every month, an audience rivaling that of Google and Facebook.


  6. Congratulations to both of you! I have been with for almost 3 years now and have been a happy blogger, until recently. I am wondering if there has been some changes in WordPress’s SEO strategy – many of my blogger friends have been complaining about a sudden decrease in traffic into their sites in the last 4 months?


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