Automattic Names West CFO

by , Apr 26, 2012, 2:49 PM
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Toni-Schneider-AWordPress.com parent Automattic has found its first full-time chief financial officer: Stuart West.

In this newly created role, West will be responsible for the company's global financial strategy, which remains squarely focused on scale.

Most recently, West served as executive in residence at headline-grabbing venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. For the past four years, West has also served as vice-chair of the board of Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit behind Wikipedia.

While sexier startups like Tumblr and Instagram have stolen the spotlight over the past year, WordPress has established itself as one of the Web’s most popular publishing platforms.

Indeed, "WordPress has been doubling in scale every 12 months,” according to Automattic CEO Toni Schneider.

In the past year alone, WordPress’s network sites has increased from 35 million to 70 million -- including sites on both WordPress.com and those hosted elsewhere via the WordPress.org open source community.

To put those numbers into perspective, Tumblr -- which itself continues to grow at a remarkable pace -- recently reported nearing a network of 50 million blogs.

As social platforms continue their rise, some analysts have suggested that blogs' days are numbered. At the end of 2011, however, Nielsen and NM Incite counted over 181 million blogs around the world -- up from 36 million in 2006.

Last October, three of the top 10 “social networks” in the United States were true blog platforms -- Blogger, WordPress.com and Tumblr -- with a combined 80 million unique visitors, Nielsen and NM Incite found.

Previously, West served as the CFO for Kno, Inc. and Tivo, Inc. and has served as chief strategy officer and head of corporate development for InfoSpace, Inc.

Separately this week, Automattic appointed its first general counsel in Paul Sieminski.

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