An Update from Ning Chairman & Co-Founder Marc Andreessen

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I’d like to update everyone on a change happening in our company today.

My fellow co-founder and Ning CEO Gina Bianchini has decided to step down after five and a half years of hard and terrific work.  I support her wholeheartedly in her decision. Gina is handing the CEO duties over to Jason Rosenthal, who has been our Chief Operating Officer (COO) and head of business operations for the last year and a half. Nothing else is changing — I remain Chairman, the current management team remains exactly the same, and the Ning service continues unchanged.

I’d like to celebrate this moment by enthusiastically congratulating Gina on an amazing series of accomplishments in her time as CEO.  Ning today is one of the world’s top social networking properties, with more than 2.3 million user-created Ning Networks and more than 45 million registered users, and is far and away the market leading social platform for interests and passions.

Ning Networks span every area of human endeavor, from the arts to business, politics to social activism, and every other field you can think of. Over 5,000 new Ning Networks are created every day, and we’re adding a million new registered users every 12 days. This is all the result of Gina’s incredible dedication, as well as the phenomenal team she has built, since we first started the company.

I am also delighted to mention that Gina is becoming an Executive In Residence (EIR) at my new venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz — my venture capital partner Ben Horowitz and I are looking forward to being able to benefit from her insight and wisdom even more than before.

Gina says: “Now that we have built Ning to its current position in the market, I am ready to hand the reins over to Jason and the team to continue to execute on our vision and strategy. As a founder and large shareholder, I’ll continue to do everything I can to support and cheer on Ning in my new role!”

Let me also give you a thumbnail sketch of Jason Rosenthal, our new CEO. Jason has been a friend and colleague of mine for 15 years — we first worked together at Netscape, where Jason took on a sequence of crucial management roles from the very early days until we sold the company to America Online in 1998. Jason then became the first person my co-founders and I brought onboard when we founded Loudcloud in 1999 — our internal nickname for him was “critical hire”.  Jason and I then worked together there for nearly 10 years, until we sold that company (renamed Opsware) to Hewlett-Packard in 2007.

Since that time, Jason has been immersed in Ning as a senior executive, head of business operations, and COO. Jason is a highly talented executive, manager, and leader, and I can’t think of anyone better to succeed my co-founder Gina as CEO.

Jason says: “Through Gina’s vision, leadership, and passion, she has taken the company from inception to our position today as the largest social platform for interests and passions. It’s been my privilege to work with her for the last 18 months and I look forward to expanding on the outstanding foundation she has put in place.”

Thank you very much for your time and attention, and we’ll see you on Ning!

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21 thoughts on “An Update from Ning Chairman & Co-Founder Marc Andreessen

  1. Fabricio Zuardi

    Welcome Jason!!

    I am happy to see that you still write blog posts Marc! We miss your blog 🙂

    Gina was important for Ning and I hope she continues doing well on your new venture.

    []s

  2. DC

    Congratulations on the transition – we’ll miss Gina’s fantastic dedication to growing Ning but at the same time welcome a steady / safe pair of hands in Jason.

  3. Ed Hubbard

    Thanks for this update. Ning is an amazing system, and I am hoping that my next project gets the same level if interactivity. Your discussions of the Viral Loop is possibly the single most important business concept I picked up in 2009. Thank you Gina for your work and insight, and congratulations Jason for being in the place where everyone can yell at you when things go wrong, and ignore you when they go right.

  4. Pete Campbell

    I saw Gina’s interview with Charlie Rose on PBS the other evening. She was one of those interviews where Charlie Rose just shuts up and listens because the person is so interesting!
    Perhaps Gina can lead the charge at Andreessen-Horowitz to build and maintain the world’s first ‘pure system” loyalty program, a program that would revolutionize fundraising in America.

  5. Ning Directory

    Congratulations to you both. I have to admit, this news is a little shocking. But, what are we, without change and adventure? I’m sure a lot of thought, inspiration and passion has gone into all decisions.

    I want to personally thank Gina, for all you’ve done to help birth and grow “Ning. I’ve sure enjoyed watching the progress, from the sidelines. Good luck Gina in your new endeavors, and on-going ventures.

    Wishing Jason huge success as the new CEO.

    Thanks for the update, Marc.

    Best Regards,
    Jen

  6. Zohra

    Gina,

    Thanks for all the effords in the last years, and i wish you lots of luck in your new job 🙂

    We will miss you!

    And, welcome Jason Rosenthal 🙂

    Cheers,
    Zohra

  7. Michelle W

    Sorry to see Gina go, I hope you enjoy your life away from this forum. Thank you for allowing me to be on here, I really appreciate it and I hope to see you in other parts of the internet, Have a beautiful day!

  8. Alice Yoo

    Thanks for helping to create this platform for all of us to use, Gina. Good luck to you.
    I’m sure you’ve left us in good hands. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing where Jason is going to take us next.

  9. PEZ

    Thank you for all you’ve done for my network Gina! You’ll be missed for sure! The EB Community benefits so much from Ning. Congratulations Jason!

    Chris (PEZ)

  10. mohammadtabrej

    congratulation gina , i have a request can u increase the profile details in ning networks then it would be good i have creates my college network my freinds liked it very much its equivalent to orkut or facebook with some less features

  11. Eugene

    Congrats to both of you. I totally agree with what Alice said: “Thanks for helping to create this platform for all of us to use, Gina. Good luck to you. I’m sure you’ve left us in good hands. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing where Jason is going to take us next.”

  12. Jeroen de Miranda

    Marc,

    Thanks for the update! Gina, congrats and heartfelt thanks for the great platform you have created together with your team; all the best!

    I also enjoyed your recent interview with Charlie Rose, it gave me some new insights into your successful business model. Especially interesting were your remarks on the so-called ‘double loop’ viral growth effect (if I remember the term correctly!): both growing a Ning network through activities; and a Ning being a spring board for users to create their own Ning networks.

    Jason: good luck with your new challenge!

    Regards,

    Jeroen de Miranda
    Member of the Editorial Board of Ambtenaar 2.0 Network (Dutch Civil Servant 2.0 Network; a Ning based network)

  13. Mike from Elbo Room (Ning social Network)

    Thanks Marc for making Ning social networks so easy to use and setup. I used your Ning platform for my bar Elbo Room to create a social network for south florida, fort lauderdale and people that love the Elbo Room. We also have added live web cameras that allow our members to see what is going on on the fort lauderdale beach, our live band cams and patio cams.

    We find our customers love to share their photos, some videos but they are all party people in my social network so they dont use the blogs that often.

    Does anyone have any ideas how i can get my social network party members from ElboRoom.com to start using the blogs so they are not empty?

    Thanks,
    Mike

  14. Sam

    When one senior position is leaving the company it’s a loss to the company on one hand but it is also an opportunity for a breakthrough. Good luck!

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