In a letter sent Feb. 6, Horvath said a search was underway for his successor.
I've decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us get the most out of this next chapter. As co-founder and CEO, it's just part of my job to make sure I'm on the right path to that destination. The other part is making sure we're always recruiting and supporting the right leaders for the right times –Michael Horvat
Horvath co-founded the San Francisco-based social network for outdoor enthusiasts in 2009 with Mark Gainey. This departure from Strava isn't Horvath's first. In 2013, four years after co-founding Strava, Horvath stepped down with plans to spend time with his wife, who was battling cancer. He finally returned as CEO six years later.
Strava has experienced tremendous growth over the past three years, becoming one of the leading social platforms for athletes around the world, and most of this growth has occurred during the height of the pandemic. In May 2022, the company announced that over 100 million athletes had joined the platform, with the number of Strava athletes doubling between 2020 and 2022. In recent news, Strava has rolled out a number of new features, including 3D map capabilities. The company has come under increasing criticism of late, particularly when it laid off 15% of its employees in December, followed by a significant hike in pricing structures that took customers by surprise.
Here is the letter from Michael Horvath.
Dear Strava community,
I let Strava, the company, know this week that we are beginning the search for my successor as CEO. I think it's important to share the same news with you, the Strava community.
When Mark Gainey and I, along with the founding team of Davis Kitchel, Chris Donahue, Mark Shaw and Pelle Sommansson, started Strava in 2009, we set out to bring people together around what they loved to do to be active. Over the years we have grown the team and our community far beyond the expectations we set at the time. I am so appreciative of the hundreds of people who have joined us over the years to make Strava what it is today, the service you rely on for everyday connection and motivation. I am extremely proud that in my second term as CEO, thanks to the dedication of this team and under my leadership, we have expanded the audience of Strava, invested in people and technology to help more people find the motivation to be more active,
I have great confidence that these investments will empower Strava and our fitness center membership for many more people over the next decade and beyond. This represents a huge opportunity to help the world be more active and healthier! However, as co-founder and CEO, it's just part of my job to make sure I'm on the right path to that destination. The other part is making sure we're always recruiting and supporting the right leaders for the right times. What got us here won't be exactly the same as what gets us there. I've decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us get the most out of this next chapter. The search for the next Strava CEO is ongoing and I look forward to seeing how Strava becomes the company and service that motivates the world to move.
Mark and I are more committed than ever to the future of Strava. We have exciting things in store for all of you in 2023. Along with the support of our leadership team and board of directors, I want to make sure Strava doesn't miss a beat between now and when we find our new leader.
With deep gratitude –Michael Horvat