17 May 2016

After 13 years as CEO of the Movember Foundation I’ve decided it’s time to stand down.

Knowing when it's time to go
After 13 years as CEO of the Movember Foundation I’ve decided it’s time to stand down.  I’m not leaving the organization, rather I’m going to spend this next chapter at Movember doing what I’m most passionate about, creating and building new fundraising products and as the chief advocate for men’s health.

Co-founding and leading the Movember Foundation has been an intensely personal experience. Throughout the journey there has been no separation between business and personal life - work is life and life is work.  You are surrounded and intertwined in a mix of stories from men tragically succumbing to suicide, to men being diagnosed and battling cancer.   
Unlike most entrepreneurs we didn’t start Movember to become wealthy, there is no equity, no bonus, no payout.  We started the Movember Foundation to have an impact and to leave a legacy.

Given what we have built and the personal investment made, standing down as CEO and relinquishing control has been the biggest decision of my career.

But I know it’s time.
As the organization has matured, so too has the role of CEO.  It has become more corporate and managerially focused on financials, HR, risk, putting out fires, and stakeholder management.  It’s a very demanding role and over time (13 years) it does wear you out.

As an entrepreneur I’m most passionate and happy when I’m creating and building new products and challenging the status quo.  I know I can deliver far more value to the organization and to the state of men’s health in this capacity. The other thing that has made this decision easy is knowing and having worked with my successor, who I’m proud to announce is Owen Sharp.  I know Owen will do an amazing job as CEO which gives me the confidence to focus on my new role.

So you’ll now find me working on new fundraising products and advocating for men’s health.  On the advocacy front, it’s time we took the power of our grassroots movement to governments and health organizations highlighting that we are losing the battle with male suicide.  The male suicide rate continues to increase, eclipsing road deaths, cancer and heart disease for young and middle aged men - we must act now!

In many ways I feel as though I’m getting back in the trenches doing what I’m most passionate about – fighting the good fight!