Michael Horvath, the CEO of online fitness tracking platform Strava, has announced that he is resigning from the company. In a letter
posted to Strava’s press site on February 6, Horvath said that a search is underway for his successor.
|I have decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us make the most of this next chapter. As co-founder and CEO, it’s only part of my job to ensure we are picking the right path to that destination. The other part of it is to ensure we always recruit and support the right leaders for the right times.—Michael Horvath|
Horvath co-founded the San Francisco-based social network for outdoor enthusiasts in 2009 with Mark Gainey. This departure from Strava is not Horvath's (or Gainey's) first. In 2013, four years after he co-founded Strava, Horvath resigned with the intention of spending time with his wife, who was battling cancer. He eventually returned as CEO six years later.
Strava has experienced enormous growth in the past three years, becoming one of the leading social platforms for athletes around the world, with most of that growth occurring during the height of the pandemic. In May 2022, the company announced that more than 100 million athletes had joined the platform, with the number of Strava athletes doubling in size in between 2020-2022. In recent news, Strava has rolled out a host of new features, including 3D map features, a new off-road interface and the acquisition of global mapping platform Fatmap
. The company has received increased criticism of late, most notably when it laid off 15% of its employees in December, followed by a significant increase in pricing structures that took customers by surprise
First seen on DC Rainmaker
. See below the full transcript from Horvath’s letter.
|Dear Strava Community,|
This week I let Strava, the company, know that we are commencing the search for my successor as CEO. I feel it is important to share the same news with you, the Strava Community.
When Mark Gainey and I, together with the founding team of Davis Kitchel, Chris Donahue, Mark Shaw and Pelle Sommansson, started Strava in 2009 we set out to bring people together around what they loved to do to be active. Over the years we have grown the team and our community well beyond the expectations we set for ourselves at the time. I am so appreciative of the hundreds of individuals who have joined us over the years in building Strava into what it is today, the service you rely on for daily connection and motivation. I am extremely proud that in my second run as CEO, through the dedication of this team and under my leadership, we have expanded who Strava is built for, invested in people and technologies to help more people find the motivation to be more active, and transformed our business success through the simple principle of making the product better.
I have great confidence that these investments will put Strava and our subscription at the center of connected fitness for many, many more people over the coming decade and beyond. This represents a massive opportunity to help the world be more active and healthier! Yet, as co-founder and CEO, it’s only part of my job to ensure we are picking the right path to that destination. The other part of it is to ensure we always recruit and support the right leaders for the right times. What got us here will not be exactly the same as what will get us there. I have decided that Strava needs a CEO with the experience and skills to help us make the most of this next chapter. The search for Strava’s next CEO is underway and I can’t wait to see how Strava becomes the company and service that motivates the world to move.
Mark and I are as committed to Strava’s future as ever. We’ve got exciting things in store for all of you in 2023. Together with the support of our leadership team and board of directors, I want to ensure that Strava doesn’t miss a beat between now and when we find our new leader.
With deep gratitude,
"HORVATH CHALLENGE: How many times can you become CEO and resign from the same company?"
If it focussed on dependable stats to help you train, generative AI to help you discover new trails that are prime (weather patterns and 3 day trending ride data), it could be so much better. Plan ahead for shuttle meet ups or with other riders who ride similar times as you near you. I could go on for hours. So much here . . . and all could help build our community and make it more accessible.
They need a simple acquisition strategy (because there tech stack wont support what they need) and Strava could become relevant again in 1-2 years. They are sitting on a gold mine, but are stuck in the 90's, soon to be obsolete if they dont change fast.
Beat me down my local flow trail on a road bike? Good on you. I rinsed your eBike on a climb... Ha. You'd have to default it to eBike as that crowd are hopeless at setting that up properly.
It would probably save a chunk of database and maintenance space by having one 'true' set of segments too.
Just about all the Pro roadie teams use it (if you believe the banner) and pay a good amount of money on top of a Strava subscription.
I think the time for sorting that out has passed, which is a shame, it would be cool to see how the local runners compare, or the ski crowd when trails turn to piste.
Less buttons, more riding please.
Why does it bother you so much?
I've discovered a lot of gold this way. I'm not really sure, but perhaps AI could do this as well, but AI would need some local knowledge and know the seasonal differences.
Second part is to host informal Fast Rides (segment rallies) where we use Strava for timekeeping. Works well enough.
The thing that nags me isn't really Strava's fault. All the data generated on where ppl ride is available to buy - and an excellent tool for planning cycleways etc. But it seems that local governments do not want this data - they always know best, and end up making sh1t decisions.
They have something like 50 bazzillion users and 38 paid subscribers. Pretty clear indication that it is ludicrously expensive for what you get. Put the price down to something fair like $1 per month and they'd bring in more money and have a happier user base. By all means have a tiered price structure to unlock more complex features but there is no way I am paying more than $2 a month as a casual user who doesn't use all the heart rate monitor shite etc..
By your comments, Strava isn't even aimed at you.
So maybe they should be going the other way? Introduce a middle tier with more functionality than the free version but less than the "elite" version that "elite athletes" like yourself appreciate.
If you are getting zero monetisation of 95% of your users it would seem to me that (possibly) you are doing something wrong...
It's still the only place where I can easily bookkeep all my runs, ski tours, trainer workouts, outdoor rides, etc. But unless you really care about the leaderboard there's basically nothing that exciting in the paid tier.
(The mostly ignored) Strava community hub thread on this: communityhub.strava.com/t5/ideas/exclude-distance-and-elevation-from-lifts-shuttles-in-activities/idi-p/884
And that's what they've done. I'll never pay them another dime until they show they're not just corporate thugs trying to profit off of the active community.
If they treat their paying customers like trash, they're not the type of people I'll do business with.
Or rather, what have I missed?
Relative effort is more of joke to me. You always know what your effort level was. You may not perform your best, but you always know how much effort you put in. It is like the new fitness trackers that try to tell you what your stress levels are or how well you slept. People really need to have something tell them that because they don't know? Lol.
@RonSauce: I originally signed up so I could track ride time to schedule my suspension servicing! Now I like to see how my performance changes over time, but I still wouldn't describe myself as an athlete.
Bottom line is, barring currency fluctuations Germans and Poles pay more or less the same.
The third one talks about how Strava is trying to get around the EU laws by giving 33% off to those who lodge a ticket of complaint.
The Netflix comparison does not work here as @iammarkstewart has already alluded to.
(I see 2-3 times more riders in my area since covid and not 2-3 times more impact for the trails. Some spots need more maintenance and that's it)
You know, people find ways to know even without social media.
People are just lazy, and take the easy way.
Seen multiple tech lines in my area that are WAY slower than the normal line, just optional extras, getting dumbed down so that more people can ride them. People removing a rock because they had to time their pedal strokes, now they pedal straight through, etc.
(as I quickly crawl back under my rock)
I understand the sense of subscription fees but this is an overkill, even though I paid with great pain. In the basic version of strava is nothing more than a slightly more elaborate counter. Maybe 3 levels of basic, intermediate and pro would be better?
Openly letting people know in advance their subscription cost is going up significantly - ______
Openly letting people know in advance they are looking for a new CEO - check
Meanwhile - participation trophies galore in the form of "Local Legends" tab which - aside from being completely worthless - who really gives a shit about? Its filler. Strava is constantly adding wacky peripheral features that most of us will never use but then lacks a useful core list - the Top 10 tab. What a bummer. Strava - you are the local legend for sure.
Cheers, mate. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to show the jerries how much sicker I am than them.
FK it kicked off :'D
I left the convo with "Those that are moaning the most more than likely are the biggest cheaters".........
But instead, I like to collect this data to compare me to old me, to collect small pieces so by the end of the year to be proud of consistency and progress I made.
(and Strava put the year progression behind a paywall. so sad.)
Maybe Dyson vacuums has another CEO to send over, like Specialized.....
It's just an online app, I'm surprised it needs much more than a few support people and a programmer.
Of course, who cars about Strava anyhow
*a high percentage of IG influencers are counted as athletes.
I am more sore after an hour of track time in 10 minute sprints than an XC race.
Join Pinkbike Login