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GitHub's CEO resigns. Again. Without scandal, after fixing messes

Chris Wanstrath will lead the search for his replacement, then do product dev and test

By Richard Chirgwin, 21 Aug 2017

Chris Wanstrath plans to end his second stint as GitHub CEO by leading the search for his replacement.

Wanstrath confirmed a story which first landed via Forbes' in a brief statement send to media over the weekend:

“As GitHub approaches 700 employees, with more than $200M in ARR, accelerating growth, and more than 20 million registered users, I’m confident that this is the moment to find a new CEO to lead us into the next stage of growth. I will remain CEO during the search and will work closely alongside the Board to identify and hire the right leader that will help GitHub achieve its full potential.

“Once we welcome our new CEO, I will continue to play an important role in our development and will remain Executive Chairman. What we’ve accomplished over the past 10 years at GitHub has been mind-blowing, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish over the next decade.”

Over the past three years, one of Wanstrath's main tasks has been to undo the damage that resulted from accusations, back in 2014, that associated Tom Preston-Warner (co-founder and once CEO, who had already relinquished the top job to Wanstrath) with a campaign of harassment against former developer Julie Horvath.

While Preston-Warner was cleared of personal involvement by an independent investigator, Wanstrath also suspended a developer who allegedly pulled her code after Horvath wouldn't sleep with him.

His other big challenge has been to rebuild GitHub's infrastructure – and the trust of its users – after a series of outages that became worse as it tried to catch up with the growing scale of its operations.

In May, Wanstrath told the outfit's Satellite conference in London “we’ve already had scaling problems and some years are great and some are less great”.

At the time, he told El Reg “GitHub needs to be as reliable as a light switch or a dial tone”, adding: “Our goal is no outages. It’s hard to get to 99.999 but that’s what we are shooting for. Everything we are talking about falls apart if those things aren’t guaranteed”.

Once his replacement is found, Wanstrath says he'll devote his attention to the GitHub community and on product strategy, he told Forbes. ®

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