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Meet Etsy’s “sexy” new CEO

Etsy’s CTO Chad Dickerson steps up to become the arts-and-crafs community’s new CEO.


Janet Kornblum

Internet Culture


When Chad Dickerson joined online crafting marketplace Etsy three years ago as its chief technology officer, there were 60 employees. He’d just moved from the Bay Area and wrote his opening note to the community while sitting on his air mattress in his new Brooklyn apartment.

Today, when Dickerson announced that he’s taking the helm as chief executive officer of the privately held company from founder Rob Kalin, he presumably wrote his blog post from the comfort of Etsy’s Brooklyn headquarters.

“With engineering well in hand and a strong partner in Adam Freed (our COO), it’s time for me to focus my attention on other aspects of the business. I’m stepping into the role of CEO at Etsy, and I’m looking forward to working with all of the teams at Etsy to move faster as we scale while staying true to our values.”

Aside from serving as CTO at Etsy,Dickerson has worked for Yahoo, InfoWorld, and CNN, according to his LinkedIn profile. And he once delivered a talk about “Sex and Linux.” So he seems more colorful than your average CTO type.

Dickerson went on to brag about Etsy’s popularity—as you might expect any good CEO to do. “more than 25 million people visit Etsy each month,” he noted, and they peruse some of the “10 million handmade, vintage items, and craft supplies listed across the 800,000 active shops that call Etsy home.”

Sales, he said “are up over 70% from last year. Etsy is stronger than ever.”

Reaction from Etsy’s teams—its name for groups within its community of people with similar interests—were mostly congratulatory.

“Congratulations,” wrote SmallWondersArt in a typical comment. “Looking forward to many positive changes!

Others were a little bit more colorful, reflecting Etsy’s artisan culture.

“I for one welome our new cupcake overlord,” wrote AllegroArts.

“He has a nice, honest face…thumbs up. Congrats, Chad,” MyFairMaiden wrote.

Only a few seemed skeptical:

“I will withhold judgement until he has been in on board for a good 6 months and I start seeing positive change,” aromaticbodyoils wrote.

But then, discussion in teams mostly focuses on crafting and how to become more popular on the site.

Dickerson, who has long kept a blog, also thanked Twitterers for the well wishes. (Note to Chad: You need to update your title in your Twitter bio, which still says you’re CTO of Etsy.)

We have reached out to Dickerson and hopefully will be speaking with him in the near future to discuss his plans. We’ll keep you posted.

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