I have some news I'd like to share. I recently informed our Board of Directors that I will be stepping down as CEO of LivingSocial later this year. We will start a search for a new CEO today and hope to fill the position in the first half of 2014 with a new CEO who can lead the company on the next stage of its adventure. I will remain as CEO through this period.
So why now? The beginning of a new year is a useful time for reflection on where we've come from, where we are now, and where we need to go as an organization. When Aaron, Eddie, Val and I started this business over an antique shop nearly 7 years ago, I never imagined that the company would become what is today. When we began, we had little more than big ideas, big dreams, and the desire to build and create a hungry machine. The road we've traveled has not been straight and it has not been without bumps, but it has been, undoubtedly, extraordinary.
So sitting here, all these years later, it's clear we've assembled a remarkable team of people with the creativity and hunger to develop better ways to connect consumers and businesses. Together, we have built a brand that millions of consumers have come to love for consistently great deals. We have built a massively scaled marketing platform that has enabled hundreds of thousands of businesses to connect with our amazing customers. That has far surpassed the biggest ideas and dreams the four of us could have conjured.
We now have the most stable and healthy business that we have ever had, and the luxury of having hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank to take us to the next level. As the steward of this organization, one of the hardest decisions I need to make is about who is best suited to lead LS into its next stage of growth. This is a responsibility I have never taken lightly.
Like you, I have given my all to the mission of this company. And I remain 100% convinced the ingredients for success are here. Additionally, I've given much thought to the many opportunities that stand in front of us and the benefits that could come from a new perspective and a new voice and approach at the top to lead us there. My responsibility is to recognize that now is the best time to transition leadership – when that full set of ingredients is available to be used most effectively to shape the company's future.
I have loved working at LS each and every day, and that's in large part a testament to the passion, creativity and drive in all of you, and I will stay with you until we have a new leader in place. Together, we've had billions in sales, millions of customers, hundreds of thousands of merchant partners, thousands of cupcakes, dozens of products (some successful, some not)… and built one amazing company.
So what's next? Well, there is much more to be done. Let's build off a better than expected holiday season. Let's finalize our strategic plan and put every iota of energy we have into executing that plan.
Thank you for helping LivingSocial get to where it is today and thank you for all that you do.
Best of luck finding someone new to jump on this grenade.