10 years ago, I started SeamlessWeb and have had the great privilege of being CEO/President ever since. About 2 months ago, I decided to leave the company. Today is my last day.
To my SeamlessWeb family, to say I feel mixed emotions would be a severe understatement. Since we started the company, I’ve had the incredible privilege of working with extremely talented people and of taking big risks knowing that, when I got kicked around, without fail there would be a team of passionate all-stars to lift me back up. We’ve shaped the way that almost a million people and tens of thousands of businesses interact with each other over something as integral to our daily lives as food. Leaving the company was a difficult decision. Leaving the company such that I won’t have the opportunity to work with, and spend bulk time with, you was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. While I’m rarely at a loss for words, all I can say is thank you. I hope you learned as much from me as much as I did from you. I hope you enjoyed working with me as much as I did with you. It is you who led me rather than vice-versa and I will be forever grateful. Thank you, sincerely, for all of the notes–they mean a great deal to me. As Johnny wrote to Ponyboy, “Stay gold”.
To the people at ARAMARK with whom I’ve had an opportunity to work, I had lofty expectations of what I might learn from you and they were exceeded across every dimension. While there are inevitable culture clashes in any acquisition of a David by a Goliath, I always appreciated the sensitivity with which you approached them and the autonomy you afforded me and the people of SeamlessWeb. I assumed that I would meet smart, thoughtful people. I’m delighted that my experience was so much more positive than I expected and that I made many life-long friendships.
To my family, friends, investors, advisors and all of the other people I’ve met along the way, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where someone learned something. However, I know that I’ve learned something from each of you and, as a result, I hope you take some personal pride in the success of SeamlessWeb as our growth would not have been possible without the support, faith, advice and lessons of countless people over the years who probably won’t receive “credit” for the development of the business but who should feel confident that they played a major role in shaping the direction of the company.
I’ll end my first-ever blog post with a quick story about my family: as I was making the decision to leave SeamlessWeb, I told my girls that “Mommy and Daddy” would be leaving SeamlessWeb. Eve (at 2 yrs old) just said, “SeamlessWeb” and then went back to eating her sandwich but Wesley (at 6 yrs old) appeared devastated (which was NOT something I had expected though she does ask anyone she sees on a computer if they are ordering food so I knew there was a possibility it could be a significant event for her). I told her that I would definitely be able to spend more time with her and for awhile I’d be able to pick her up from school here and there and even have breakfast together—that stopped her lips from quivering but she was still visibly upset. Then, she looked up at me and said, “But, Daddy, will your next office also have a hot chocolate maker”. After biting my tongue to stop from laughing, I looked up at her and said “absolutely” and she smiled from ear to ear. So, while next steps are still being formulated, the hot chocolate maker is on order.