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Introducing a new Umbraco CEO

Niels is passing on the CEO-torch

Niels Profile
Written by Niels Hartvig

It’s official. I’ve fired myself from the position as the Umbraco Chief Executive Officer. But don’t worry - I’ve of course made sure to pass the CEO-torch on to someone who’s perfect for this role - someone who’s actually already doing the job: Kim Sneum Madsen. You might have heard about Kim or seen him before as he has been part of Umbraco for the last 3 and a half years. But what does this change of titles mean for Umbraco? For the community? For partners? Let me fill you in:

Why this change? 

Around 3 and a half years ago, I came to realize that if I wanted Umbraco and its surrounding products and services to grow according to the demand of the market and with a certain quality, I also had to make sure that the company behind would grow significantly in size. Then I realized that I don’t know anything about running a company like that, so I had to hire someone who knew a thing or two about exactly that. And as you might have guessed; Kim Sneum Madsen stepped into the Umbraco-picture and was hired as the Chief Friend Maker.

In the following years, Kim and I, together with the rest of the HQ management, have worked hard to build a professional company with a higher focus on sales, service, support, marketing and development. A focus that since then has provided the company with a yearly growth between 25-40% and over 30 new employees (bringing the current number of employees to 56). 

That’s Umbazing! 

But what has this growth meant for our users, you might ask? 

Quite a bit. 

We always invest everything we earn right back into the company, our products and services. So our recent years of growth have meant significant improvements as we’ve been able to dedicate more - and even new - resources to various areas: Support for community initiatives, Organisation of Pull Requests and Documentation, product development (Core, Cloud and yet-to-be-introduced; Umbraco Headless) etc.

In fact, in August, we had the pleasure of hiring 4 new employees; Rune Strand as Product Owner, Sezgin Sahin as Cloud team developer and Jesper Lange Nielsen and Jonathan Pabst Klemensen as support warriors. 

And this journey is still ongoing.

And one of the next steps? Kim becoming CEO and me…

What will I be doing now?

Will I run off and start working on a biodynamic beetroot farm?

Sounds fun, but no. I will, however, be going back to the “root cause” so to speak.

To be honest, in some areas, not much will change as I pass on the CEO-torch; I’ll still be the Chief Unicorn and founder of Umbraco, and still be travelling the world proudly telling the Umbraco story at festivals, conferences etc. and nothing has changed when it comes to the ownership structure of Umbraco. 

Even though Kim might not have had the official “CEO” title until now, all of the things he’s been doing for the company and the initiatives he’s helped set-up have all been very “CEO”-ish. So it won’t be a massive change as such.

But then again - some things will change, otherwise, why do this at all?

For me, this change makes me able to go back to where it all started. Where my true passion lies when it comes to Umbraco - expanding on the open source project and finding initiatives and ways that’ll ensure that the Umbraco community keeps thriving - and growing. I’m now able to focus 100% on building on top of the foundation that is the main reason for Umbraco’s global success and continued development - the community. 

Combining the best of two worlds 

Throughout the last few years, the combination of the open-source project and the commercial aspects has proven fruitful for Umbraco, our users, partners and the community. And it is this balance in the combination of these two worlds we’ll continue to focus on. 

The combination ensures that we still get all the creative powers, talent and ideas from our dedicated community as well as us being able to provide our users and customers with the reassurance that they’re using products that are safe, professional and of high quality. 

So, here’s to the next step on this journey - and congratulations to Kim on the new CEO title and to me for, well, going back to focusing more on the Umbraco-roots 🎉 

Kim And Niels 2


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