Yahoo Exec Exits For Automattic CEO Gig

Exclusive: Start-ups are once again cool, enough for senior executives to leave the safe confines of large companies to take a flier on tiny tots. A couple of days I had reported that Jeff Graham, former CEO of Peribit and a senior executive at Juniper Networks was leaving his gig to take over as CEO of an undisclosed start-up. Now I can tell you, before everyone else that Toni Schneider, a senior executive spear-heading Yahoo’s Developer Network is leaving the company. (He has now posted about this on his blog!)

He is headed to San Francisco-based Automattic, (a company started by Matt Mullenweg of WordPress,) where he will become the chief executive of the company. He will also become a venture partner at True Venture Partners, a new early stage venture fund based in San Francisco. Toni will be joining Phil Black, John Burke, and Jon Callaghan, the general partners of the fund.

I first got to meet Toni, when I was working on a story for Business 2.0, The New Road To Riches. He was the CEO of OddPost, an email company that was doing AJAX when it was still DHTML. Yahoo acquired the company, for close to $29 million, and only recently the product has started showing up as new improved Yahoo Mail!

He helped with the Pixoria (Konfabulator) acquisition for yahoo, and has been a key component of The Flickrization of Yahoo! His thoughtful and measured demeanor made a lasting impression, and we tried to stayed in touch since. I asked him about his plans, but Toni being Toni, politely said “no comment.” The link on True VP kinda gives it away! Regardless, Matt should be pretty stoked. It is the perfect present for Matt 2.2 (Happy Birthday Dude!) Toni knows how to build a business with handful of people.

As I said in the story, build it, flip it, repeat.

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