Last summer, after considering many opportunities, I decided to join forces with an investment group and help them form and launch a new search engine marketing firm. We discussed many plans and defined a clear vision for the launch of Fortune Interactive. The investment group agreed to provide the funding needed to build a world-class SEM firm, and I would bring the leadership, form a phenomenal executive team, hire great employees and attract discerning clients.
Ten months later and Fortune Interactive is indeed a fast growing, well respected SEM firm with a great technology. However, FI’s “parent” investors have departed greatly from the plans we initially agreed on last September, to the point that I am no longer in a position to take Fortune Interactive in the direction I feel it should go. They are the majority shareholder in the company, and despite months of discussion, we are now not on the same page. On that basis, we have mutually agreed to my departure from the company.
I know that my departure from WebSourced, and consequent blog post, led to a lot of rumor and speculation, so I want to avoid any of that this time round. I wish Fortune Interactive the very best of luck and hope they see many years of success. The executive team that I leave behind is more than capable of growing the company and seeing success. Likewise the employees of FI are some of the best in the industry, and given the opportunity it would be my pleasure to work with them again in the future.
Whatâ€™s next for me? I will likely offer consulting to FI on a temporary basis, to ensure a smooth transition with little disruption as possible. Iâ€™ll also consider the different options that present themselves to me. Start a new company? Consider employment options elsewhere? I donâ€™t have any restrictions, so Iâ€™ll be considering my options. Launching a successful start-up has been very rewarding and I could certainly see myself offering help to those considering starting a new business.
In the meantime, expect me to continue blogging â€“ Marketing Pilgrim REMAINS MINE, ALL MINE!!! Iâ€™ll also likely take on some consulting, so if you know anyone that needs SEM consulting, corporate blogging advice or online reputation monitoring, let me know!
UPDATE (January 07): Unfortunately, the investment group have managed to lose two of the remaining three executives and half of the staff have left. They never did retain my consulting services and as such, the company has declined considerably.