Today we’re feeling really good because we get to announce that Mercedes De Luca will be joining Basecamp as our first-ever COO.
Over the last few years, David and I have come to realize that high-level strategy and hands-on product development is what we enjoy doing most. But of course there’s so much more to running a company than just that stuff.
Products are products, but companies are products too. Your company should be your best product, since it’s the product that produces all the others. We should operate the company with as much love and attention and care as we put into building our products. We want Basecamp the company to be outstanding at every level.
Mercedes is going to help us be all we can be. She’s been a CEO, a CTO, a CIO, and a GM. She’s run big groups and small groups – local and remote. She has the right mix of a structured analytical mind and an insightful creative spirit.
She’s wonderful with people – warm, approachable, and motivated to help everyone else be the best they can be. She’s excellent at spotting gaps, identifying things we should be trying that we’re not, building up capabilities without introducing bloat, and pulling together a team that produces results without compromising what a company stands for. She’s a person of principle and strong character. Her references were glowing – and so many of them touched on just how wonderful a person she is. That had a big influence on us.
We’re fortunate to have her on our team. We’re going to learn a lot, do a lot, and have a lot of fun along the way. And like the majority of our company, she’ll be working remotely (she’s based in California).
We were careful and deliberate with our COO search. We’ve got a great thing going here and the easiest thing to do is to fuck it all up. This is a major role and we don’t want to upset the balance that makes this company what it is today and what it’s been for nearly 17 years. We were looking for someone who would feel like they’ve been here for years, but also someone with a fresh outsider’s perspective. Someone who can push us in new directions and challenge us to do things we may have never done on our own – but never at the expense of the values we hold near and dear.
We talked to people we knew, asked others for recommendations, and ultimately hired an executive recruiter to help find the perfect fit. After interviewing an august collection of highly qualified and capable people, Mercedes stood out as the one for us. And now she is one of us. When it comes to considering a group of people who are all clearly qualified to do the job well, it ultimately comes down to something else – comfort. How do you feel about someone? Who do you click with? Who has the right combination of subtitles, perspectives, and life experiences that add up to something unique? For us, Mercedes had all the right stuff.
She’ll be starting in a few weeks. We think you’ll be able to feel her presence and influence in 2016. With an all new version of Basecamp right around the corner, with the best team we’ve ever had, and with Mercedes joining the crew, we look forward to the new year, the next decade, and beyond. Good stuff on the way.
Thanks for listening.