Hello Everyone! Happy New Year to all and I hope it was a wonderful Q4 for you. As we gear up for Affiliate Summit later this week, I wanted to share some important news with you.
As I did last January when announcing the acquisition of ShareASale, I’d like to take a more personal approach to this blog post – so stay with me! I’ll provide links at the bottom to more official sounding statements, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about this news.
As some of you may be aware, I am stepping away from the day-to-day operations, and my position as the CEO of ShareASale. Having founded ShareASale in 2000 – and guiding it through the first 17 years – it is now time for new leadership and vision, which we will get to later in the post! I’d first like to address why this is happening and alleviate any concerns that you may have.
At the time of the acquisition by Awin, and leading up to that, I knew that I had made the right decision to move ShareASale forward because of the people that I was surrounded by. Awin is an extraordinary company, with solid, ethical footing and a drive and reach that did (and still does) impress me. I know with full confidence that those elevated to new leadership positions at both ShareASale and Awin will carry this business forward in a way that I could not have done alone.
When founding ShareASale, I literally knew very little about Affiliate Marketing. I learned quickly – thankfully – but the reality is that you all taught me what it is that you needed and demanded out of a network partner, and as a result I have tried to shape our company into that mold. Your innovation on the publisher end was relentless, keeping us on our toes constantly – and your innovation on the retailer side was equally impressive and demanded our constant attention to produce real solutions that provided you with a choice of highly competitive platforms in this industry. In stepping away as CEO, I want to thank you for that, very sincerely. In a way, you raised me – and helped me through my own learning curve and helped me create something that I am truly proud to pass on.
I won’t be leaving entirely, that’s an important point! I am joining the Awin team as a global advisor to the Board of Directors in order to help a collective group of countries and businesses continue to build. An equally important piece of this is that this is my choice to move in this direction, and it fits very well within my own goals of growing ShareASale as well as Awin into the premier destination for Performance Marketing. I also want to pursue other opportunities and ideas that I have avoided over the years in an effort to focus 100% of my efforts on ShareASale. Those things might range from building technology and businesses, to starting a piano bar in Fiji – but I can promise you this: I will be around and in this industry because it is my choice to continue to be around all of you and your amazing businesses and inspirational stories.
In short, I want to say thank you to all of you for the support over the years. It has meant so much to me and I hope what we have provided in return has helped your businesses grow, as that is what I certainly hoped to do!
So – where do we go from here? I’d like to first add my commentary to the announcements that are going out via an official press release primarily regarding the promotion of Sarah Beeskow Blay as the Vice President of ShareASale. Sarah is being promoted to the VP of ShareASale, and the choice by Awin could not be better in terms of who is best suited to lead the company to new heights. Sarah has worked at ShareASale since 2005, growing from the Client Services Department to eventually direct the entire department, which she has done for the last few years. Many of you know Sarah, as a ubiquitous presence at all of our conferences including the many Affiliate Summits over the years, and has become the primary point of contact for many of our clients in that time. From a personal perspective, I have no doubt that her leadership and depth of knowledge regarding the Affiliate Channel will continue to be a huge asset for ShareASale. If you are afraid of saying goodbye to me – you need not worry as Sarah is fully in control! The decision to promote Sarah says everything you need to know about Awin and their intents and desires to maintain the strong market position of ShareASale within the industry, as well as to promote from within and maintain the continuity needed to move forward.
Please join me this week at Affiliate Summit, or over the course of the next few months in congratulating Sarah for an amazing job well done so far, and this incredible promotion that she has earned!
Thank you all for your time in reading this, and I look forward to answering any questions you have – come by and visit me as well as the entire ShareASale team at our booth at Affiliate Summit, or you can always reach me at Brian@ShareASale.com. To read more about the official press releases regarding Sarah’s promotion as well as other changes within ShareASale and Awin at the start of the year, click here.
I have also taken the time to provide a FAQ for the two most popular questions that I can already predict:
But will there still be a ThinkTank?
Absolutely! In fact, the ShareASale ThinkTank was just announced for April 4-6 in Chicago, IL so make sure to talk to us about how to attend.
But will there ever be a ThinkTank in Hawaii?
No, but I may go to Hawaii just to check it out and make sure.