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Kickstarter’s CEO, Perry Chen, is resigning

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He plans to focus on his role as chairman of the company’s board

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Kickstarter CEO and co-founder Perry Chen has resigned from his role as chief executive of the company. Chen wrote in a blog post today that he will remain chairman of Kickstarter’s board, and that he intends to focus on “high-level and long-term company needs” from that position.

Chen has been with Kickstarter since its beginning, serving as CEO for its first five years. He stepped down for the first time in 2014, leaving the role to co-founder Yancey Strickler, and returned in 2017 after Strickler decided to leave the company. At the time, Kickstarter had planned to look at outside candidates, according to Buzzfeed News, but Chen quietly stepped in and assumed the role once again.

This latest resignation comes the same day as Kickstarter’s staff announced its plans to unionize with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153. Kickstarter staff said they were forming a union to promote “inclusion and solidarity, transparency and accountability,” and gain “a seat at the table.”

Chen has picked a successor as interim CEO: Aziz Hasan, who currently heads Kickstarter’s design & product teams. Chen, however, wrote that the board will be “working with Aziz over the next weeks and months to make this role permanent.” Hasan joined the company last year, having previously worked at Refinery29.