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Kicking Buffer into a higher gear: Leo is COO

My co-founder Leo has had quite a few different roles throughout the lifetime of Buffer, and he’s had a large impact on lots of different areas.

Until now Leo’s title has been CMO, however he’s working in the trenches of business, on marketing with Belle, as well as doing BD and also admin tasks (like organizing the retreat!). Looking backwards, his real strength has always been in getting things done and moving things forward, regardless of which area of Buffer.

We’ve talked together recently about what would be the most appropriate role in the longer-term for Leo to take within Buffer, and it suddenly became clear. He’ll have the most impact not by focusing on a single area, but by touching all areas to keep us moving at a fast pace.

Leo already recently helped me to develop a structure of regular sync ups with everyone to move Product at a faster pace, and it has worked very well. As another example, he might help Carolyn with figuring out how we can hit the numbers we want in support.

Thinking about it more, Leo and I realized that this is really a COO role that we are envisaging for him. He can work more on the tactical day-to-day tasks and I and others can be a little more freed to think strategically and higher level.

So, starting immediately Leo will now take the role of COO of Buffer. His key focus will be to kick Buffer into a higher gear. As part of this adjustment, you can either reach out to him or he’ll likely be in touch more with all of you too.

Putting this differently:

  • My role as CEO is to make sure the train is going in the right direction
  • Leo’s role as COO is to ensure the train is on time

The other reason that we’re thinking this makes perfect sense right now, is that we’ve been lucky to reach the stage with Buffer where a lot of things have become clear. We know where we need to go in the coming months and year (growing into a true SaaS product for social media publishing) and a key thing now is simply to execute on this vision.

I’m really excited about this adjustment, even with just a week in his new role Leo has made a big difference as COO.

Let me know if you have any questions about it or if I can explain anything further.

  • Heather YamadaHosley

    Congrats to Leo and Buffer! Seems like a timely and logical transition. Is Buffer planning to fill out more of the usual C-suite positions in the future?

  • Congratulations Leo – this shifts are so important for business!

  • Tom

    So, who’s role is it currently to ensure the train doesn’t break down? It can’t be on time after all, if say, a wheel falls off. I guess this is a CTO role, do you have one currently?

  • Congrats Leo. Joel can you elaborate more on your vision of “growing into a true SaaS product for social media publishing”? Or is there another post for that that I missed?

  • aajhiggs

    Terrific news for Leo and the business as a whole at this point in time, and I imagine there was a great kick that came with the moment of clarity too :)

  • Congrats Leo!!!

  • GoranDuskic

    Sounds good and interesting. Good luck to Leo with the new role! Is there a new CMO on the horizon?

    • LeoWid

      Great question Goran, not currently, but certainly eventually! :)

  • John Doherty

    Congrats to you, Leo! Terrificly wise choice, Buffer team!

  • Bravo!! Congrats – you guys are doing such a great job, not just of offering a fabulous service, but providing a real time ‘course’ in entrepreneurship and startups!

  • Sue

    Congrats to Leo and the rest of the Buffer team! :)

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