Amsterdam, Tuesday 3 May 2022 - WeTransfer has announced that Gordon Willoughby will be stepping down as CEO and Alexandar Vassilev, currently Chief Product and Technology Officer, has been appointed CEO and member of the Management Board. Melissa Nussbaum, currently Chief Financial Officer and member of the Management Board, will also take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, alongside her existing duties. Both appointments will be effective from 17 May. Gordon has been working closely with both Alex and Melissa since they joined, and particularly so over the last few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.
After more than five years leading WeTransfer from the company’s HQ in Amsterdam, Gordon has chosen to step down so he can return to the UK to spend more time with his family, who returned to the UK two years ago. Since 2017, Gordon has led the scaling up of WeTransfer’s business, nearly tripling the size of the platform from just over 30 million to 87 million monthly active users. 2021 was a record year for the company, with revenues exceeding €100 million, representing a 60%+ year on year uplift, while maintaining strong profitability.
Since joining WeTransfer as CPTO in September 2020 Alex has played a leading role in WeTransfer’s success. His product development skills were integral to the successful launch of WeTransfer Premium in January 2022, and he will continue to oversee Product and Technology until a successor is hired.
Alex joined WeTransfer from German entertainment streaming platform, Joyn, where he was CEO for almost 3 years, after almost a decade at Google. During his time at Joyn, Alex scaled up the company and successfully launched its product and brand, while growing the platform by millions of monthly active users in just six months. Alex will draw on this experience as he leads WeTransfer’s next phase of growth, continuing to innovate and develop its product suite and cement its position as a leading provider of creative productivity tools.
Also announced today, Melissa Nussbaum will take on the role of COO, alongside her existing CFO duties. Having developed a strong partnership with Alex since her arrival in 2020, the appointment will help WeTransfer deliver continued excellence as the company works towards its future goals. Alongside Legal, Data Analytics and Finance, Melissa, who was already a member of the Management Board since 2021, will now also oversee both Human Resources and Marketing.
Under Gordon’s leadership, WeTransfer has grown its revenues over 5X while maintaining strong profitability and tripling in size from 100 people to over 300 with offices in the Netherlands, the UK and US. In 2018, it successfully completed the acquisitions of Paper and Paste to further extend its suite of productivity tools.
Gordon has also helped build a trusted and authentic brand amongst the creative community, driven by its purpose and its values. WeTransfer became one of the first tech companies to achieve B Corp certification in 2020, and launched the Supporting Act Foundation in 2021, to support emerging creative talent around the world. Its long-term commitment to creativity was exemplified by winning a 2022 Oscar with the Riz Ahmed collaboration The Long Goodbye.
Martha Lane Fox, Chair, WeTransfer, said: “After more than five years at WeTransfer, we say farewell to Gordon with immense gratitude for everything he has done to grow the business, and take it to where it is today. Under his leadership, WeTransfer has grown to become not only a household name but a brand that has successfully balanced profit and purpose, while delivering productivity tools that improve the lives of creatives around the world. The decision to appoint Alex was a logical and unanimous one for the Board. Alex understands WeTransfer and its strong commitment to creativity like no other, and appreciates the company's unique growth potential. As our product suite continues to develop, the rest of the Board and I are brimming with confidence in WeTransfer’s bright future with Alex at the helm.”
Gordon Willoughby, CEO, WeTransfer, said: “It’s been an incredible journey at WeTransfer and I leave knowing that the business is well placed to grow, expand and go deeper into the hearts and minds of our community of creatives around the world. I am hugely proud that I leave WeTransfer as a BCorp, and that we delivered fast and profitable growth while always staying true to our values and purpose. It was always in my plans to eventually return to the UK to spend more time with my family, and now is the right time for a new leader to take the company through its next phase of growth and expansion. Alex’s product expertise and strong leadership skills make him the ideal CEO as WeTransfer continues to build on its leading position as the platform of choice for creatives."
“I want to congratulate Alex and Melissa on their appointments. The progress we’ve made at WeTransfer since they joined and especially the record results in 2021 would not have happened without them.”
Alexandar Vassilev, Chief Product and Technology Officer and incoming CEO, WeTransfer: “I’m immensely proud to be taking over as CEO of WeTransfer. Gordon has successfully scaled WeTransfer to become a leading provider of creative productivity tools, and I’m excited to lead us into the next phase of growth. When I joined WeTransfer almost two years ago, I said it was a rocket ship, with huge and boundless potential. As I take the reins, I am determined to help the company continue innovating, delivering world class solutions while driving the growth that it is capable of. I can’t wait to lead the company in its next exciting growth phase and continue working with the incredible talent at WeTransfer.”
Alexandar Vassilev is WeTransfer’s Chief Product and Technology Officer. He joined the Company in September 2020, and, prior to this, served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Joyn, a German entertainment streaming platform, from 2018. Before Joyn, Alexandar spent a decade at Google working on various monetisation products (including DoubleClick products and Adwords for Video), YouTube and Google Search. Alexandar holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, alongside a CIS degree from Missouri Southern State University.
Melissa Nussbaum is WeTransfer’s Chief Financial Officer since 21 September 2020 and has been a Managing Director since 1 May 2021. She joined WeTransfer after having spent seven years at King Digital Entertainment. At King she led Finance & Strategy and before that had a leading role during its IPO in 2014 and eventual sale to Activision Blizzard for US$5.9 billion in 2016. Before this, Melissa worked at PwC for over twelve years, serving as a Director working across its Audit, Risk, and Capital Markets departments in Belgium, France, Canada and the United Kingdom. Melissa is a Chartered Accountant and holds a degree in Commerce, Accounting and Finance from Concordia University in Canada.