May 23, 2022

Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hassan announced today in a blog post titled “Moving Forward With Gratitude” that he is stepping down from his leadership role at the crowdfunding platform. Three years later, April 4 is his last day as CEO. In his place, the company’s chief executive, Sean Leo, will take on the role of interim CEO, while the company’s board of directors looks for a more permanent replacement.

Hassan wrote, “I’m very proud of the work we’ve done together.” “It has been a humbling and rewarding experience to lead such a passionate, efficient and dedicated team through deep moments of change, milestone triumphs and challenging challenges.”

The director spoke to Fast Company about the decision, citing “personal reflections” as a motivator, as well as his desire to spend more time with his young family. As Hassan points out, his tenure has led to a significant increase in the service, although recent years have also been full of controversy.

In 2020, Kickstarter employees voted for the union, which Hasan described as “inherently controversial” in a letter to employees, adding:

These dynamics do not reflect who we are as a company, how we interact with each other, how we make decisions, or where we need to go. We believe this will set us back in many ways, and that the binary is against us. He already has.

It has recently sparked backlash from creators who are planning to move their services to the blockchain. Amid harsh criticism, Kickstarter promises to listen to user feedback in order to “better solve the problem.” [ … ] take care.”

Leo highlighted Hassan’s accomplishments in a statement:

Aziz has brought his creativity and experience to Kickstarter over the past 3 years as CEO. We deeply appreciate their contributions and look forward to further development as we strive to increase the number of creative projects that come to life. As a strong supporter of creative projects, I intend to keep Kickstarter moving in the right direction as we look for our next leader.

Co-founder and former CEO Perry Chen echoed this sentiment, saying:

Aziz Hassan has taken over Kickstarter at a critical time for the company, providing thoughtful and firm assistance throughout his tenure, including historic creative funding milestones and addressing the many challenges of the global pandemic. While we are looking for a future Kickstarter CEO, we are very lucky to have Sean Leo running the company. Sean has consistently led many of the company’s flagship initiatives during his long tenure on Kickstarter, bringing to life his deep experience and passion for bringing creative projects to life.

Prior to joining Kickstarter, Leo worked at Facebook and co-founded social media art site Neocha.

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