WeTransfer appoints new CEO
Gordon Willoughby joins from Amazon and eBay
SummaryWeTransfer today announces that Gordon Willoughby is to become the company’s Chief Executive Officer in January. Gordon takes over from Founder and Chief Executive Bas Beerens, who steps back from day-to-day operations to become Executive Chairman.
Gordon joins WeTransfer as the file transfer service launches its new site and one billion files are transferred by 40 million active users every month. Gordon worked at Amazon for the last 8 years in a variety of senior general management roles, including launching and building the Kindle business from scratch to become Europe’s biggest selling e-book business. He was most recently Director of Consumables. Before joining Amazon, Gordon worked for eBay, with particular responsibility across Europe for Operations and Customer Support. He also has hands-on start-up experience as MD of wireless networks company, CitySpace. Before that, Gordon worked for the Financial Times and for Diageo in a variety of marketing roles.
Gordon arrives at WeTransfer at a critical time for the business which intends to step up its growth rate, with US expansion a key part of the strategy, following the opening of a Los Angeles office in September. Last month the company successfully introduced a refresh of its website, with a new logo, identity and rebuilt platform that was designed to be able to add more features for users and reflect the company’s sense of community.
“In Gordon, WeTransfer has found a great match for the company, as it looks to scale up. Gordon has experience of working for one of the world’s biggest tech companies in Amazon, as well as with traditional creative and media businesses at the Financial Times. Gordon’s reputation as a team builder helped him stand out amongst candidates for the job. Having worked for several global businesses, he has a great understanding of international business,” says Bas Beerens, Founder and Executive Chairman, WeTransfer.
Beerens continues: “I am so proud to have built up WeTransfer from a small start-up to a company with 40 million active monthly users and offices in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. However, building a start-up is something completely different from the daily operations of leading a company with nearly 80 employees. I am a creative at heart and now seems like the right time for a business heavyweight to take over from me in the daily operations of running and scaling this company. I look forward to working with him, Nalden and the team on a strategic level and having more time to think about product innovation. I have great confidence that WeTransfer will grow faster than ever in the coming years and look forward to the milestones to come.”
Gordon says: “I’m really excited to be joining WeTransfer, which is an amazing company with a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and a great user-focused culture. I have huge admiration for everything the founders Bas and Nalden have done to establish a company that is growing fast and profitably and look forward to working closely with them to introduce WeTransfer to more users across the world.”
WeTransfer is currently used in 195 countries and the platform is available in eight languages. 40 million active users transfer more than one billion files every month on the platform. The leading markets for the company are France, the UK, The Netherlands, Italy and the USA.
About Gordon Willoughby
Gordon will be moving from the UK to Amsterdam with his wife and two children. He studied economics at the University of Oxford and completed a MBA at INSEAD. Before joining WeTransfer, he spent eight years at Amazon, in a variety of Director roles, including launching the Kindle in Europe. Gordon has also worked in a senior operations and customer support role at eBay and before that for the Financial Times group as Global Director for Marketing and Circulation.
WeTransfer makes tools to move ideas. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent (with 2M monthly readers), mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer' (with 4M monthly users), quick slide-making tool Paste® (with 40,000 active teams), immersive sketching tool Paper® (with more than 25M downloads), and the original web platform with 50M monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.
From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values - trust, transparency, and ethics - online. This means having a responsible data policy and tools that don’t distract people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising, resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in-house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google, Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.
Since its founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up to 30% of advertising space to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017. Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, King Krule, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.
Following a $25 million investment from Highland Europe in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018, WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper® and Paste® and expanded its US presence to New York City.