UPDATED: Ryan Holmes stepping down as Hootsuite CEO

Hootsuite's Ryan Holmes | submitted

What happened: Founding CEO Ryan Holmes says he’s stepping away from the top job

Why it matters: The Vancouver tech company has long been at the centre of speculation over an IPO

The man who is perhaps Vancouver’s highest-profile tech CEO is stepping down from the top job at the company he founded.

Hootsuite Inc.’s Ryan Holmes says he’s departing to spend more time with family but will continue with the company and serve as executive chairman, as first reported by the Financial Post.

In a statement sent to Business in Vancouver Holmes said he is announcing the search of the company’s next CEO.

“It has been an honour of my lifetime to have led Hootsuite from a small company to a global enterprise of more than 1,000 employees supporting over 200,000 organizations,” he said.

“I am extremely proud of what our world-class team has built together and am even more excited about what the future holds. I will move to executive chairman once the right person is chosen.”

Earlier this year the social media management company reportedly laid off as much as 10% of global workforce of 1,000 people.

Hootsuite did not confirm the number with BIV at the time but did acknowledge layoffs had taken place.

While Hootsuite had been at the centre of speculation for a possible initial public offering (IPO) for years, Reuters reported last year the company had engaged Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to inquire about a potential sale.

But the process was abandoned just before Christmas 2018 when Hootsuite determined offers were less than the US$750 million it was aiming for, according to a January report from the Globe and Mail.

Holmes said in a statement to BIV he would stay on until as CEO until a successor was named, but did not outline how long he thought that transition would take.

He added that at the beginning of 2019 Hootsuite undertook a benchmarking exercise and determined that the company “sit[s] very well amongst a number of criteria” for other companies at have gone public in the past year.

The team found that within the companies examined, the average age was 14 year old, the average valuation is $3.6 billion and the average annual recurring revenue is about $200 million.

Today we’re looking at just building a great company. We do look at benchmarking and we’ll figure out the right point and time, but I have to say we’re pretty excited about how we’re stacking up right now,” Holmes said.

Updated November 5, 12:35 p.m. with comments from Holmes.

torton@biv.com

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