Had time to speak to the executive staff this morning at Cake (fka Cake Marketing) about the firing of their President Jeff McCollum and where the company is currently going. Many people had expressed to me over the last few days their concern about what this meant for the company, and if they would get the same level of customer service as before. There was also extensive interest in knowing if the company was still dedicated to creating a product that emphasized the affiliate and performance marketing community.
On the call with me was Dave Stewart, the co-founder of the company, and Santi Pieri the new Chief Operating Officer along with several other people in the company in communications and marketing.
It was clear from the start that they could not speak about the firing of McCollum – and that it was not planned, nor expected. Additionally, it wasn’t part of any plan to change staff nor about the direction the company was taking.
Cake wanted to make sure I understood, and the readers of PMI knew that both Stewart and Pieri had been with the company before. Stewart had been effectively acting as the CTO from the start, and intimately involved with the development of the software. McCollum had hired Pieri as part of the team in October of last year because of his extensive experience in technology. This means he has almost a year of experience at the company before these changes occurred. They were both knowledgable employees who were given new titles as part of the executive changes.
Despite rumors that the company was going through a major shift of executives, not a single new executive was hired, just their titles changed and additional responsibility given.
Stewart made it clear the company was still dedicated to their “traditional market” of affiliate marketing, while also expanding significantly into new markets. They are going to be announcing some new products next week, and the company seems completely focused on these launches still.
While I am personally interested why McCollum is no longer at the company – it’s nothing but curiosity. The company seems for all
intensive purposes (eeeeek: intents and purposes) the same company, minus losing a very well respected co-founder and leader. While people always want to make these firings into juicy stories, more than likely there is nothing here that will affect the day-to-day operations of the company nor how the customers are treated.