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Jeremy Hitchcock steps down as CEO of Dyn

TechCrunch TechCrunch 11/05/2016 Anthony Ha

Just a day after announcing a $50 million round of funding, Internet performance management company Dyn is revealing that there’s been a change in leadership — co-founder Jeremy Hitchcock is stepping down as CEO.

“I’ve done a nice and effective job of getting the company from A to B, but now I’m thinking about helping the company get from B to C,” Hitchcock told me. “In terms of day-to-day leadership, I’ve made the decision that I’m not the best person for this specific role.”

Jim Baum, who was previously chief executive at Netezza and Endeca, is taking over those day-to-day operations — but he’s not taking the title of CEO. Instead, he’ll continue to serve as executive chairman and work with Dyn’s board of directors to develop a “long-term leadership strategy.” Presumably, that means means finding a new CEO, but Baum said there’s no big rush on that front, and that they won’t make an “abrupt, rash decision.”

Baum and Hitchcock both emphasized that this was very much Hitchcock’s decision, not something that was forced on him. After all, he started the initial DynDNS service in his dorm room at Worcester Polytechnic Institute back in 2001, and he’s helped the company launch a broader suite of products for managing website availability, security and speed. The company projects that it will reach annualized recurring revenue of $100 million later this year.

“We’ve all seen these things unfold over time,” Baum said. “I think there’s nothing unusual here about Jeremy’s decision. What’s unusual is, I’ll say the grace with which we’re able to execute this. … When it’s not a founder’s decision, you tend not to have this continuity of leadership. You tend to have a big disruption that causes the company to miss several beats. That’s not what’s happening here at all.”

As for why the change is happening at the same time as the funding announcement (as well as the launch of Dyn’s broader platform for Internet performance management), Baum said, “It’s an obvious point in the development of the company. We’re saying, ‘Okay here’s the strategy for company going forward in IPM, we’ve raised a bunch of capital and it’s time for a leadership change.”

At the same time, Hitchcock said he will remain on Dyn’s board and also remain a full-time employee with the simple title of founder. Moving forward, he’ll be focused on possible expansion areas, whether that’s new geographies or new ways to use Dyn’s data.

“I’m excited about how I’ll play this very interdisciplinary role in uncovering some of the value there and mainstreaming some of those opportunities into what Dyn can become,” he said.

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