Hello, Envato Community!
On the back of my announcement in August, I’m excited to introduce you to Envato’s new CEO!
His name is Hichame Assi, and he joins us from HotelsCombined, where he’s been the last 10 years – the last four of which he’s been their CEO. Hichame grew that business from 30 to 300 people, built a global operation, facilitated a sale to Booking.com, and worked there with a team that’s a little larger than Envato and more spread out globally.
Why Hichame will be an awesome custodian for Envato.
I’m excited about the future of the company and community under Hichame’s leadership for a number of big reasons:
Hichame was one of the candidates who I felt the most aligned with on values. I didn’t feel the need to explain our values to him – these are just his values as well.
He’s got the right kind of tech and CEO experience. He has an almost founder-like CEO experience in terms of scaling up a business, but he also has a tech background in a space that’s similar to ours.
He’s an Envato customer from many years back! He doesn’t just know the business in the sense that he aligns with our values – he’s actually a customer, has customer experience, and no doubt will have customer ideas. He has a strong customer and marketing background so he’s going to be a natural fit for some of the things we’re working on.
He has global experience. Hichame has set up offices in the past in São Paulo, Dubai and Seoul, to name a few, in order to build up local teams.
Finally (and most surprisingly!) Hichame is someone who has done the founder to CEO transition before. So not only has he got CEO experience, he’s got tech CEO experience as well as experience transitioning from company founder to CEO, which is obviously a special kettle of fish all on its own.
The search process was long, but well worth it!
We had some tough criteria to find someone with tech experience and values alignment. There was a large and diverse pool of candidates that we met with – different levels of executives from within Australia as well as internationally. Our candidates had many rounds of interviews with the Board and executive leadership team and also underwent a huge barrage of testing. And out of all of that came Hichame!
The next steps for me.
I’ll be staying on as Chairperson of the Board, and will be empowering Hichame to take the business into the future. We’ll be copiloting for a couple of weeks until he spreads his wings and takes full flight.
After 14 years as Envato’s CEO, I’m super happy, excited and confident to be handing over the reins to someone as values-driven, experienced, and capable as Hichame. Hichame’s mantra for this transition period is ‘evolution, not revolution’ – I think it’s safe to describe Envato’s next custodian as a safe pair of hands.
Please join me in giving Hichame a warm welcome!
Thanks for reading. The team and I will be coming back to this thread, until this Thursday (22nd October) to answer questions about this announcement. I know these kinds of discussions can easily go off on a tangent, but I’m going to try to keep us on topic: Envato’s new CEO, Hichame Assi.