Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan Stepping Down; Will Transition to Chairman

I received this from Ancestry.om this morning:


Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan Stepping Down; Will Transition to Chairman

Company CFO/COO Howard Hochhauser Named Interim CEO

LEHI, Utah, Sept. 12, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry today announced that, after twelve years of leading the company, Chief Executive Officer, Tim Sullivan is stepping down and will transition to Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, effective October 1. In his time as CEO, Sullivan has built the company into the recognized world leader in family history, overseen its transformation into the world’s largest consumer genomics provider, and grown revenues to what is expected to be in excess of $1 billion for the full year 2017. Howard Hochhauser, the company’s Chief Financial Officer since 2009 and Chief Operating Officer since 2012, will assume the role of interim CEO as the company conducts a search for a permanent replacement.

“The last twelve years at Ancestry have been a joy for me, but I believe it’s the perfect time to find the right person to lead the company going forward,” said Sullivan. “We’ve assembled a world-class management team, have an exciting strategic roadmap, and see tremendous potential ahead. I’m also pleased to pass the baton when our company’s performance is so strong. Ancestry subscriber growth is at a four year high, AncestryDNA is the world’s largest consumer genomics service, and with 40 percent revenue growth in Q2 and approximately 30 percent growth forecasted for the full year, our financial performance remains strong. As Board Chair, I look forward to staying actively engaged with the company and supportive of the management team as they execute against our long-range plans.  Howard and this team are completely ready to move the company forward.”

“I want to thank Tim for his leadership over the last twelve years, and for his future contributions to the company,” said Mike Bingle, Managing Partner at Silver Lake and a member of Ancestry’s Board of Directors. “The company has a strong management team in place, enabling Howard to step forward and ensure that Ancestry continues to advance its strategic vision while we conduct a thorough search for the next CEO.”

"Having been with the company, and in our Utah home, for close to a decade, I am confident in saying that our position as a business has never been stronger," said Hochhauser. "Tim leaves a great legacy at Ancestry and I have highly valued our partnership. Moving forward as interim CEO, I'm looking forward to working with our deep and talented management team as we continue to execute on our growth plan and assure a smooth leadership transition.”

Since Sullivan joined Ancestry as CEO in 2005, the company has taken family history and consumer genomics mainstream. Today, Ancestry is a powerful and trusted brand that inspires a curiosity for self-discovery. Over his tenure, Ancestry revenues have grown from $140 million to more than $1 billion projected for the full year 2017, and more than five million people have taken the AncestryDNA test, making it the most popular consumer genomics product in the world. Over these years, the company also expanded internationally, established and grew a San Francisco office to complement its Utah headquarters, and today employs almost 1600 people. 

Ancestry’s Board of Directors will be conducting a thorough external search for CEO candidates.

About Ancestry

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.6 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 5 million people in the AncestryDNA network. Since 1996, more than 10 billion records have been added to Ancestry's databases, and users have created more than 90 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, AncestryProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3. AncestryDNA is owned and operated by Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, LLC.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or to future financial performance that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "appears," "may," "designed," "expect," “project,” "intend," "focus," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "should," "continue" or "work" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements may include statements describing the Company's subscriber base, future earnings, financial and operating performance, its leadership position and its opportunities and prospects for growth, including growth in revenues and EBITDA and number of subscribers. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.


Commentary:  I've met with Tim Sullivan on several occasions in Salt Lake City over the past ten years, and have high respect and appreciation for the man - I think he was an excellent CEO.  He brought Ancestry.com from the largest U.S. record provider in a crowded field to the unquestioned largest global record provider in a less-crowded field, while adding the genetics, newspapers, and media components that make Ancestry.com the public face of genealogy to people all over the world. 

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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