Rob Kalin, affectionately known as "Bozo Dick" around the EB homesteads, is out. And quite suddenly so it seems. Within a week it looks like.
Chad Dickerson, (whose name is ripe for even more prone to our possible mockery if he's not careful with the arrogant tone in his announcement...) is in as CEO as of yesterday. What is perhaps more interesting is that no where is it mentioned that Kalin is staying on staff, or what position he might have with Etsy in the future, I think... and this might be hopeful dream larking on my part, that he's simply out (but with a nice severance package I'm sure to keep him quiet.)
This I think both shows how essential Dickerson's become at Etsy (possibly as the only actual adult on staff, and also maybe being at least reponsible enough to shove into the corner office for a while to babysit the toddlers in an emergency). I also think it shows that Kalin has perhaps been on thin ice far longer than even we suspected in a year of growing scathing news stories of seller's dissatisfaction?
Sellers have been angrier than ever. Sales keep declining, defections are more common than even evictions as sellers get more and more fed up with being ignored. Etsy keeps on not listening, not responding to criticism or worse replying in nonsequitors that if anything serve as mockery, offering things no one has wanted still ignoring things that sellers have been asking for for going on a decade.
Up until now it's been Kalin's little fiefdom run by himself and his protected inner circle of hipster trolls who seem to not only be untouchable, but unpublishable.Have the investors been actually paying attention and simply couldn't look the away anymore and overlook his aloof bizarreness (like pulling hunting knives on business reporters) anymore? Or did, as I prefer to think, Kalin just stopped showing up for work? God knows his heart hasn't seemed to be in it for 5 years, so why bother having the rest of him show up when you can stay at home and build guitars from IKEA doors and read greek poetry so obscure even Jack Keroauc would roll his eyes.
To me this sudden shift shows the IPO is coming, and initial reports were not as rosy as investors wanted it to be, and Kalin simply had gotten to frustration level with the investors that made him expendable to save their asses.
Will this be enough to save Etsy? Is it enough to make you hold out a little longer?