I founded Buildkite with Keith Pitt in 2014, most recently serving as co-CEO. After 8 amazing years, it's time for me to move on. Here's the letter I shared with the team, and some of the nice things from my last week at Buildkite.
I have some big personal news. It’s with much 💚 (and a bit of 😭) to share that July 29 will be my last day at Buildkite. After 8 huge years, I’m leaving Buildkite to take some time off to be with family, work on my partner’s business, and explore something new.
12 years ago I realised I wanted to create a product company. I’d worked as a product designer, engineer, business owner, consultant, and employee, but it was watching the early Ruby on Rails community create GitHub, Shopify, Travis, Heroku, etc that inspired me to try something different. I wanted to create something long-standing that can build on itself year after year, with a strong culture, great team, beautiful product, and awesome customers.
After working at some startups in Berlin, and attempting to start my own, I moved back to Australia and started working with Keith. Keith had built this CI/CD product called Buildbox, and had a number of companies already using it. I loved the product, knew it had huge business potential, and saw in Keith someone that I could deeply trust. He needed a new logo, but ended up with a co-founder, and after raising a AU$200k seed round we got to work!
Fast forward 8 years… and Buildkite is growing faster than it ever has, we launched our second product, landed our first million dollar customers, and have a truly world-class team. Buildkite is ready to unblock every software developer on the planet. 💪🏼
But with this new scale comes new requirements for my role.
The time after launching Test Analytics has been a chance for me to reflect and plan, and think about what Buildkite needs, and what I need. And after lots of soul searching, I was surprised that for the first time in 8 years I wanted something different. I found myself both simultaneously excited about Buildkite as a company, but also ready for a different challenge and a new environment.
And so I’ve decided to leave this beautiful place, take a few months off to spend time with family, support my partner’s brush lettering business, and explore what’s next for me 💚
Passing the baton
A big part of what gave me the confidence to make this change is knowing that Buildkite is in really good hands and that the company is set up for success.
Keith and I have been co-CEO’ing since the beginning of last year, but most of the Leadership Team members report to Keith. While I focused on marketing this year, Keith stepped up to lead the company. He has been doing incredible work, and I’m so excited for Buildkite that he’s now CEO.
Ashley has recently joined us as an incredible marketing leader, with a deep understanding of what it means to be a developer, and how to market developer products. I can’t wait for us to learn from her experiences, and to see her lead our brand, site, product marketing, conference, and everything else marketing. Ashley is now VP of Marketing, and reports to Keith.
And finally, the most important thing that fills me with confidence is leadership across the company. And by leaders, I’m not only talking about the leadership team but the leaders within all of you.
For my last ABC ("All Buildkite Catchup" aka “All Hands”) the team surprised me with an all-Tim-themed edition. There were metrics, Q&As, poems, CSS animations, Ruby gems, video clips, custom Zoom backgrounds, exquisite word art creations, and a few other really special gifts 💚
Fred (our VP of Product, and professional musician in a previous life) wrote and sang an amazing song incorporating the voices of many Bikkies:
Keith Pitt and Stefan (our Director of Play and Connection) commissioned our favourite band to put together some fresh tracks:
And finally, Keith commissioned Sher Rill Ng to create a beautiul illustration of the two of us.
Thank you to everyone at Buildkite for the love and care that went into my last week here, it was truly special!
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