BrightEdge co-founder Jim Yu has become executive chairman, appointing the company's COO Krish Kumar to CEO. Yu plans to take on a more active role in accelerating innovation in generative artificial intelligence (GAI) across the company.
“We started pioneering search engine optimization in enterprise marketing, and now the business generates more than $100 million in revenue,” Yu said. “We’re profitable. We have more than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies leveraging our products with AI.”
The global GAI market is currently worth more than $13 billion, and is forecast to surpass $22 billion by 2025. The North American generative AI market holds a 41% revenue share, according to reports.
The executive change had been in the works for “some time,” and both feel that this is a good time to make the switch.
Kumar will run all company operations as CEO.
Yu will dedicate his time to driving innovation and GAI advancements, forging deeper connections with customers, collaborating with crucial tech partners, and engaging with industry visionaries.
Yu said that GAI is the biggest change to happen in SEO since he and Lemuel Park founded BrightEdge in 2007.
And while the company has integrated AI into its products for the past 10 years, now the goal has becomes turning BrightEdge into an AI-first driven company. Yu believes the future of search lies in the fusion of SEO, content, and GAI.
AI will be the largest opportunity for SEO and digital, Yu said.
The company has seen massive adoption in its AI-related products such as BrightEdge Insights, Instant, SearchIQ, and Autopilot the past 12 months.
BrightEdge now has more than 57% of Fortune 100 brands using Autopilot and machine learning modules to automate their company’s workflows.
With Kumar at the helm, BrightEdge will ramp up further investments in data infrastructure to expand the scope of AI-driven search experiences.
The pace of change is different. “Last year about 60% of customers talked about how they would use AI,” he said. “Now 80% of all new customers start working with the company using AI.”
About 120 engineers support BrightEdge customers, but the plan is to double investments in research and development in BrightEdge Labs, which works on much of the GAI technology. There are no plans to create a new business unit, but rather apply GAI to all products offered throughout the company.