Shares of Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) are up around 4% Wednesday after the company announced a former Google executive will be replacing Ben Silbermann as the company’s CEO.
Leadership Changes Announced
Ready, a former chief of Google’s commerce unit and former COO of PayPal, is set to take on the top role on Wednesday. Ready joins Pinterest after serving less than three years at Google.
The social media company has recently reported over 400 million monthly active users (MAUs) and has been increasingly focused on its advertising operations, however, the company has started shifting that focus more towards the e-commerce business in recent years.
Pinterest has also announced earlier this month its acquisition of artificial intelligence (AI) fashion shopping platform The Yes.
“In our next chapter, we are focused on helping Pinners buy, try and act on all the great ideas they see. Bill is a great leader in this transition. He is a builder who deeply understands commerce and payments,” Silbermann said in a statement.
During his tenure, Silbermann led Pinterest through a series of challenges including poor quarterly earnings reports, staff complaints, and other headwinds. The CEO, who also co-founded the company in 2010 and took it public in 2019, will become its first Executive Chairman after stepping down from his current position.
“As someone who has spent most of my career in commerce and payments, it’s so clear to me that Pinterest has the opportunity to build something unique—something special,” Ready wrote in a post.
Prior to joining Pinterest, Ready spearheaded Google’s e-commerce business against industry giants like Amazon, Shopify, and others. For instance, Pinterest’s new CEO has introduced a new feature at Google that allows users to transfer from store listings on a Google search page to a seller’s checkout site in one click.
Over the past several years, Google has been focusing on integrating buying services into its verticals such as click-to-buy features on YouTube videos, more comprehensive shopping results on its main results, and others.
Recent Performance and TikTok Challenge
In its latest quarter reported at the end of April, Pinterest posted decent earnings results including $575 million in revenue, topping the consensus estimates of $573 million. Earnings per share (EPS) came in at 10 cents, while analysts were looking for 4 cents per share.
The number of global monthly active users fell 9% from the same quarter last year to 433 million, also below the consensus estimates of 437.9 million.
While Pinterest has managed to top Wall Street expectations for revenue and EPS in the first fiscal quarter, the company still has a long way to go when it comes to making its product more competitive in today’s landscape. To be more specific, the company continues to face increasing competition from other players in the social commerce field, particularly TikTok.
After reporting its Q1 results, the company held a separate call with its shareholders where it explained how it planned to tackle the rising threat from other competitors.
Pinterest said it has been investing increasingly in its new video-based solutions such as the Idea Pins, which can be seen as a video-first offering similar to TikTok and tappable Stories.
With Pins, Pinterest is trying to lure content creators with a mix of recording and editing features that allow them to make voiceover recordings, add background music, creative video transitions, and more interactive options. Furthermore, Pins also allow users to add instructions pages to their content such as ingredients lists for a food recipe or guidelines to complete a do-it-yourself (DIY) project.
The San Francisco-based company its decision to focus more on video comes at the cost of a portion of its monthly active users but said it was willing to take its chances to get its new video-first ecosystem up and running.
Pinterest shares are soaring after the social media company announced its CEO will be replaced by a former Google executive. A leadership change comes as Pinterest battles to resist TikTok’s rapid ascendance.