We’re beyond thrilled to announce that Andrew Anker has just signed on the dotted line to join PandoDaily as executive chairman. As well as bringing his years of media executive experience to the company, Andrew will be responsible for all things revenue-related.
We’re gonna be rich!
In reality, that paperwork just formalized things (although I’m glad we signed before he changed his mind and went back to planting trees or whatever the hell he’s been doing since he left his day-to-day role at Say Media last year.) Andrew has been the closest thing to a co-founder I’ve had for the last few months, coaching me through the entire process of raising money, hiring and setting up the company. He was one of my first calls when I decided to do this. His immediate response: “I want to be involved in this in any way I can.”
Anyone familiar with Andrew’s career will know he’s supremely qualified for the job. He goes back as far as you can in new media and still call it “new media.” He was the co-founder and CEO of Wired Digital or HotWired back in 1994, growing it to one of the top twenty networks of sites. He literally launched the first banner ad in 1994. (We forgive you, Andrew.)
After that he was a general partner at August Capital, where he lead the firm’s ecommerce and content deals. He joined Six Apart in 2004 and took over as CEO just before it merged with Video Egg in 2010. Andrew has also served on several public boards including Geeknet, which owns ThinkGeek, SlashDot and SourceForge.
I met Andrew while he was at August Capital, and he was one of the only VCs who would return my phone calls when I was a young nobody working for a small publication. He’s been a great source, friend and mentor to me since. It’s a good sign that he still speaks to me, even though I’ve written plenty of things he didn’t like and/or got him in trouble.
Personality-wise, Andrew and I have a lot in common– we’re both direct, opinionated and love to argue. But our skills are very different. While I would shrug and ask “Is that good?” if someone offered Pando an ad deal, Andrew is an ace negotiator, who can get blood out of a turnip. He also gets the importance of a ballsy, independent media voice, and knows how to monetize it without compromising on editorial integrity.
As Paul wrote a few weeks ago, Andrew believes that a media company should consistently piss off 20% of its audience, as long as it’s always a different 20%. That’s not a man who will kowtow to advertisers.
I also think he’ll be the embodiment of Heather Harde’s excellent Twitter bio from her days as TechCrunch’s CEO: “I don’t keep our bloggers in line but I do keep them in business.”
Welcome to the team, Andrew.