'I like being in the trenches': Fastly CEO steps down after disappointing market debuts, citing his 'true strengths and passions' as a developer instead of company leader (FSLY)


Fastly CEO Artur Bergman

  • On Thursday, Fastly CEO Artur Bergman announced he would be stepping down as CEO less than a year after the internet infrastructure company went public.
  • “At my core, I am a developer,” Bergman wrote in an email to Fastly employees, saying his “true strengths and passions lie in building the architecture and innovation, including our compute platform.”
  • The tech company went public last April, and was considered one of the best performing tech IPOs that included several disappointing market debuts.
  • While current Fastly president Joshua Bixby will replace Bergman as CEO, according to a blog post announcing the news, Bergman will assume the title of chief architect and executive chairperson. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Fastly CEO Artur Bergman is stepping down, the internet infrastructure company announced Thursday.

In a blog post announcing the news, Bergman said he would instead assume the role of chief architect and executive chairperson. Current Fastly president Joshua Bixby will replace Bergman as the company’s CEO.

“At my core, I am a developer,” Bergman wrote in an email to Fastly employees. “While I will always cherish the time I have spent leading Fastly, my true strengths and passions lie in building the architecture and innovation, including our compute platform. I like being in the trenches, solving the most complex problems for our customers, and ultimately providing them with a better experience at the edge.”

Bergman founded Fastly in 2011, and the company went public in April. Although it didn’t have the starpower of Uber or Slack at the time of its debut, Fastly was among the handful of enterprise software companies that performed better on public markets than its consumer-facing cohort members. However, the company has struggled to meet expectations in the year since, and growth has plateaued in recent months. Like several other newly public tech companies, Fastly has struggled to reach profitability even after its IPO.

The company sells security and content delivery tools to other large companies. In its filing ahead of going public, Fastly said some of its customers include The New York Times, Alaska Airlines, Spotify, and Microsoft’s Github. However, it doesn’t charge these customers a subscription for its services and instead only charges customers based on how much they use its product. The revenue model has been a sticking point for public and private investors looking for a more reliable revenue stream.

Fastly’s stock, traded under the stock ticker “FSLY” on the New York Stock Exchange, was off roughly 10% on market close Friday on the news of the leadership shakeup. 

Bixby joined Fastly in 2013 as a senior executive and president from startup incubator Stanley Park Ventures. According to Bergman’s note, Bixby has led multiple parts of the business during his tenure, including sales, marketing, corporate development, and engineering. 

“Several years ago, I entrusted him to run the part of the organization that I have the most expertise in – engineering,” Bergman wrote. “I have learned that Joshua is open-minded, a creative problem solver, and an innovator at heart. He intuitively understands what type of people, systems, and organization are needed to grow with integrity and humanity.”

Bergman recently returned from paternity leave, where he had the ability to rethink his role within the company, he wrote. 

Prior to going public, Fastly had raised $220 million in venture capital from Battery Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, and others, according to Pitchbook.

Fastly did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Read the full blog post announcing the leadership changes here.

SEE ALSO: Security startup OneTrust is cashing in on the mad dash for data privacy tech with more than $400 million in venture funding in just the last 7 months

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