Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann Steps Down, Google Executive Bill Ready to Take Up Charge


Pinterest said long-time Chief Executive Officer Ben Silbermann would step down, handing over the reins of the social media platform to Google commerce executive Bill Ready.

The news sent the company’s shares 9 percent higher in extended trading on Tuesday and underscored a shift in focus at Pinterest to e-commerce initiatives from its advertising-based business model.

In Ready, 42, the company gets an executive who for the past two years ran commerce and payment operations at the Alphabet-owned search giant Google. Ready has also held senior leadership roles at PayPal.

His appointment brings to an end Silbermann’s 12-year tenure as CEO, which began when he co-founded the company in 2010. Pinterest has grown rapidly since then and now has more than 430 million monthly active users.

Silbermann, 39, will take up the newly created role of executive chairman and keep his board seat, while Ready will also join the board, the company said.

Ready will receive an annual salary of $400,000 (nearly Rs. 3 crore) and will be eligible for a stock option award to buy about 8.6 million Class A shares.

“In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see,” Silbermann said.

“Bill is a great leader for this transition,” he added.

Recently, Pinterest launched its TV Studio app silently and made it available for select creators on its platform. The new app is currently available on both Android and iOS. The Pinterest TV Studio app is said to make it easier for creators to livestream. It will allow creators to start a livestream with improved streaming setup, editing tools, and multiple camera capabilities. However, the company has not officially announced anything about this app yet, perhaps because it is currently only available to select creators.

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