KEY POINTS
  • Longtime Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann is stepping down, the company announced Tuesday.
  • Shares jumped in after-hours trading.
  • Bill Ready, who was previously in charge of Google's commerce business, is taking over the helm, effective Wednesday.

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Longtime Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann is stepping down, the company announced Tuesday.

Shares jumped more than 5% in after-hours trading.

Bill Ready, who was previously in charge of Google's commerce business, is taking over the helm, effective Wednesday. Prior to joining Google, Ready was executive vice president and chief operating officer of PayPal. He'd been at Google fewer than three years.

Pinterest has more than 400 million monthly active users and has long placed its focus on its advertising business. But in recent years, it has shifted to make e-commerce more of a priority.

Earlier this month, for example, the company announced it was acquiring The Yes, an A.I.-powered shopping platform for fashion brands.

"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 for this transition. He is a builder who deeply understands commerce and payments," Silbermann said in a statement.

Silbermann, who co-founded the company in 2010 and took it public in April 2019, will serve as the company's first Executive Chairman. Silbermann faced challenges ranging from missed quarterly user expectations to a series of workforce complaints, including two Black former Pinterest employees whose public claims of discrimination and retaliation became the basis of a California workforce non-disclosure law.

"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 said in a LinkedIn post.

Shares of Pinterest are down 45.8% year to date and are nearly 76% off of 52-week highs.

Ready had been tasked with leading Google’s most recent efforts to compete in e-commerce against the likes of Amazon, after prior failed attempts. Earlier this year, for example, Ready and his team launched a feature that lets people move from store listings on a Google search page to a merchant’s checkout site in a single click.

Google has increasingly tried to incorporate buying opportunities across its verticals over the lasts few years — from testing click-to-buy options on YouTube videos to showing more detailed shopping results on its search results page. 

Ready faced an early challenge when he joined, trying to steer the ship toward e-commerce early on in the pandemic while Amazon, Facebook and other rivals reeled in record sales from buyers stuck at home. In October, Google scrapped plans to offer bank accounts with financial partners such as Citigroup after nearly two years.

A Google spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on who will replace Ready.

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