After 10 years of co-founding and helping build Vena

The following note was shared with the company a few weeks ago, and today was shared publicly. I couldn’t be more excited about Vena’s future, we have something incredibly special here. Culturally, as a group, as a brand, we have the opportunity to build something that could outlive all of us. I wanted to share this here also, thanks for reading.

Hey everyone,

After 10 years of co-founding and helping build Vena, I’ve come to the bittersweet conclusion that I’ll be stepping down from my role as CTO and transitioning a new leader into the company. It would have been an absolute blessing to be the CTO for the next 5 years, I love this company, I love the people I work with and truly believe Vena has the chance as a brand, as a company, to outlive all of us. That said, and as I’ll explain below, the timing has never been better for a move like this, and I’m looking forward to eventually flexing my entrepreneurial side again.

It’s been an emotional couple weeks, like I said I love the people I work with. Hunter is the leader I hope to be in 15 years, we couldn’t have found a better CEO, our entire Executive Leadership team is rock solid, they are so thoughtful, smart and capable of doing everything we need to win going forward. Rishi, one of my fellow Vena co-founders, is in such an incredible position, he’s grown into the executive we always knew he was, from riding the bus together in highschool to now, I’m so proud of the leader he’s become. It pains me to think we won’t be working together day in day out and just writing this I’m tearing up at the thought.

The best analogy I can come up with is that the company has grown up, and it’s time for it to move out of my proverbial house. We’ll always be connected, I’ll always be around, present and available for whatever would be needed. My plan is to remain on the board, become an advisor to the company and continue doing everything I can to make Vena successful. I’m still overweight Vena in my portfolio, I have the majority of my equity still in the company and I’m so committed to making sure Vena becomes the multi-generational brand I know it can become.

To the entire Product and Technology organization, thank you for your dedication, I’ll miss working with you most of all. While I won’t be your leader for this next phase of growth, I promise you we’ll take our time, do a thoughtful search and find the best possible leader for the organization. There’s also no rush to find that leader, I’ll be working just as hard, committed and present until we find the right person, no matter if it takes two months or six. I’m excited to bring in a person who has scaled a business like ours and can give you all the experience and knowledge to make our next phase of growth as smooth as possible.

So what’s next for me? There’s no immediate plans, my focus is on Vena, the transition, making sure we’re set up for success and to continue to win. Once the transition occurs, I’ll take some time off to reflect on the last ten years and decompress. From there, I’m excited to dive back into brainstorming, ideating and seeing where that takes us.

The timing has never been better for this move. The company is in the best place it’s ever been, we continue to win and delight customers and are ready to scale into this next phase of growth.

Thank you to everyone, I’ll miss working with you all day in day out but I won’t be far.


Posted by George Papayiannis

Cultural Ambassador, among other things, at Vena