Medium founder and CEO Ev Williams is stepping down

“To be clear, Medium’s story is far from over.”

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Igor Bonifacic
July 12, 2022 4:32 PM
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 07:  Medium CEO Evan Williams speaks onstage during "An Uneasy Marriage?—Tech, Media, and Money" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 7, 2015 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Mike Windle via Getty Images

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams is stepping as CEO of Medium. Williams announced the decision on Tuesday. Writing on Medium (where else?), he said he’s handing the company over to Tony Stubblebine, the CEO of Coach.me.

Stubblebine may not be a household name, but the two have a long history together. Before Williams went on to create Twitter with Jack Dorsey and a few others, he and Stubblebine worked at Odeo, the podcasting startup Williams founded in 2005 with Noah Glass. “Tony is a builder, a writer, an open-minded thinker, and a keen businessperson,” Williams wrote of his replacement. “I’m confident Medium will benefit greatly from his vision, integrity, energy, and pragmatic leadership.”

Williams will continue to advise Medium as the chairman of the company’s board of directors. “To be clear, Medium’s story is far from over,” he said. “The team today is probably the most capable I’ve seen at this company. I’m excited to see what they do.”

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As for what’s next for the serial entrepreneur known as “Ev” to many of his peers, he plans to spend the immediate future “learning as much as I can about things I don’t know a lot about.” To that end, Williams says he will start a new holding company or research lab.

In handing over the operations of Medium to someone else, Williams leaves the company fighting to stay relevant. In a 2014 interview with The New York Times, he promised his startup would change the web. “Right now, the internet rewards speed and quantity, and we wanted to make a place where quality matters,” he told the outlet. 

And for a time, it did feel like Medium had managed to create a place where thoughtful people could post smart writing. However, between a series of strategic missteps involving the company’s business model and the emergence of competitors like Substack, Medium doesn’t feel as essential as it once did. And it now falls on Stubblebine to chart a course forward for the company.

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