Kickstarter CEO Aziz Hasan resigns. In a blog titled “Moving Forward, with Gratitude,” Hasan says COO Sean Leow will become interim CEO and the search for a permanent replacement is already underway.
In an interview with Fast companyHasan says “personal reflections” and a desire to spend more time with his family have communicated his decision to leave Kickstarter after three years.
“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together,” Hasan wrote. “It was a humbling and rewarding experience to lead such a passionate, skilled and committed team through intense moments of change, milestone wins and complex challenges.”
He praised the company’s successes under his leadership, including reaching $6 billion raised from 20 million backers.
Hasan’s announcement comes a few months after the company announced it would develop a decentralized version of Kickstarter and move forward with the blockchain. Backlash soon followed, forcing the company to issue a follow-up statement saying it would delay the rollout to “listen to [the] feedback” and allay the concerns of creators and donors.
Kickstarter and the company’s leadership were also criticized in 2019 — just months after Hasan was named CEO — for its refusal to voluntarily recognize Kickstarter United, its workers’ union. Workers voted for unions the following year, becoming one of the first tech unions in the US. That same year, Kickstarter lost about 40 percent of its workforce through layoffs and acquisitions as the company struggled with a sharp decline in new projects early in the pandemic.
Hasan will remain as an advisor for the coming months as Kickstarter’s Board of Directors searches for a new CEO. His last day is April 4.