Joost de Valk has announced that he’s stepped down from the WordPress Marketing and Communications Lead role. The position was created and awarded to de Valk earlier this year. Not only was it a new position, but it also expanded the leadership roles in the WordPress project.
Despite making progress, de Valk didn’t feel as though he was fulfilling the leadership aspect of his role. “My experience over the last few months made me feel that while I was doing things and getting things done, I certainly wasn’t leadership. I don’t want to pretend I have a say in things I don’t have a say in,” he said.
Not having a clear definition of what marketing means and having people within the project on the same page contributed to his decision.
“There’s a stark difference between where I thought I would be in the organization in this role, and where I am actually finding myself now,” de Valk said.
“Even things that every outsider would consider marketing (release posts, about pages) are created without even so much as talking to me or others in the marketing team. Because I felt left out of all these decisions, I feel I can’t be a marketing lead.”
He also cited a lack of clarity surrounding his position, “I’ve been asked dozens of times on Twitter, Facebook and at WordCamps why I now work for Automattic, which of course I don’t but that is the perception for a lot of people,” he said. “On other occasions, I seem to be the token non-Automattician, which I’m also uncomfortable with.”
Due to taking a toll from failing to fulfill the position, de Valk plans to take an extended vacation during the Summer and when he returns, focus 100% of his efforts on Yoast and his Chief Product Officer role.
Matt Mullenweg commented on de Valk’s article thanking him for being willing to try new things and for his passion, impatience, and drive to improve WordPress.