Posted August 4, 2006 1:19 pm by with 25 comments

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Some of you will no doubt experience déja vu by the time you get to the end of this blog post, but I am announcing my departure from Fortune Interactive.

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.

What’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. I’ll also consider the different options that present themselves to me. Start a new company? Consider employment options elsewhere? I don’t have any restrictions, so I’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 – Marketing Pilgrim REMAINS MINE, ALL MINE!!! 😉 I’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! 🙂

I’ll still be speaking at SES next week, so if you have any questions or want to discuss my future plans, look for me there. Likewise you can email me at

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.

  • Next year, I fully expect a post telling us that you’re happy, stable and not going anywhere 🙂

    Best of luck in whatever you do Andy! I’m glad us faithful readers don’t have to go over to a new blog URL.


  • Best of luck to you, Andy.

  • Thanks guys. Honestly, I’m trying to stay put somewhere! 🙂

  • Congrats, Andy. All the best in finding whatever best speaks to you. I guess that’s better than something like, “May fortune smile upon you,” which could be taken the wrong way.

  • Best of luck Andy – I have really enjoyed your blog and very happy that it stays with you!

  • Independant is the way to go! Good for you, after going in house with a well known company I am having more fun and learning more than ever.

  • Andy,

    People who can do what they like the way they like it are the happiest people in the world. Best of luck to you!

  • You know what they say, Andy – “Third time’s a charm!”

    best of luck!

  • Hey, sometimes it takes time before you find just the right fit for yourself. What really, truly matters is that you leave a wide swath of excellence in your wake. Or, in the absence of said excellence, a respectable body count. 😉

    Congratuations on your forthcoming adventure!

  • good luck andy.

  • Andy,

    Best of luck to whatever adventure comes your way.

    Still look forward to meeting with you on Tuesday afternoon at SES. Hope we can meet.



  • Thanks to everyone for their support.

    I still intend to make all planned meetings next week at SES.

  • Glad to know we’ll still have Marketing Pilgrim in our readers. Good luck in everything, Andy! Here’s to the future, eh?

  • Hey man, you’ve gotta stop pissing off the money. Bootstrap it next time! 🙂

  • Good luck Andy, I admire a man of principle. Good you get to keep the blog this time!

  • First Mike and now you? It’s a secret plan right? The truth is hidden behind certain coded words inside Lee’s “Andy Andy Andy Beal” poem, I just know it. heh.

    Best wishes to you Andy 🙂

  • LOL, a lot of people seem to think Mike Grehan and I are going to announce a company together.

    It’s not in the plans, but it would certainly be an honor to work with my good pal.

  • Hi Andy,

    Is there any relationship between your leaving FI and Mike Grehan leaving WebSourced/MarketSmart?

    Also, are you still going to work with Mike Marshall – or is he staying with FI?

    Finally, while I’ll miss you at SES next week – I hope your next venture is more even more successful than FI. It’s a bummer when your investors clamp down on your balls!

  • Mike,

    Good luck and know that it would be great if you investigate the possibility of being a softie.


  • Andy,

    Best of luck!

    Frank Williams

  • Andy, best of luck. Everything changes, most usually for the better.

  • Hi Andy,

    Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. It must have been a great experience building Fortune Interactive and I am sure you could do it again somewhere!


  • Anonymous

    Best of luck to you in your new endeavours. Your accomplishments have truly been impressive.

  • Rob

    Best of luck to you Andy!

  • Anonymous

    Andy, no doubt 2 wise career decisions. You have my thunderous applause, and best wishes.

    I hope to see you sitting along side Charlene on some of those SEM experts round tables.

    – Linux is mainstream