WordPress founder makes move upstairs to head up Automattic

WordPress.com founder Matt Mullenweg is set to take the reins at parent company Automattic as the company undergoes a small-but-significant reshuffle.

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Mullenweg announced via a blog that he will be taking over from current CEO Toni Schneider whose arrival over eight years ago he, incidentally, wrote a blog on.

“Internally this isn’t a big change as our roles have always been quite fluid, and I’ve had some recent practice filling in for him for a few months last year when he was on sabbatical. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from Toni over the years and I’m looking forward to putting that into practice,” Mullenweg stated in his blog post.

It means that Schneider will be tasked with heading up the company’s product building and the move will allow the former CEO to work on some new product ideas that he admits has been a “growing itch.”

Under Schneider’s leadership, Wordpress.com became the world’s eighth largest website and is the number one publishing platform on the planet with 21 per cent of all websites powered by it.

Automattic, on the other hand, reaches almost one billion people every month and in that sense has an audience that is close to social networking site Facebook and search giant Google.

The importance placed on Automattic’s data was illustrated by a deal signed with DataSift that gives the latter’s customers access to all public data owned by Automattic including posts and comments on WordPress.com.

Schneider became CEO of Automattic in January 2006 and headed a team of four people with the dream of making WordPress “huge,” with Automattic now employing some 231 people across 171 cities around the world.

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Wordpress itself was formed on 27 May 2003 by Mullenweg and Mike Little and has grown into a platform that now supports 120 different languages with English, Spanish and Portuguese being the most popular.