August 2008


Personal & Sillycon Valley Biz & Spam12 Aug 2008 10:29 am

Word has already gotten out — in no small part due to my screwing up on LinkedIn — so I might as well post about it: August 1 was my last day at Habeas, and August 11 was my first day at Responsys. (The official announcement will be coming soon, so act surprised please!)

I will be serving in the role of Director of Privacy and Industry Relations. This is similar to what I was doing at Habeas, so all of those folks with whom I have interacted in the industry will probably see me doing all the same sorts of things, just wearing a different brand of hat.

To some of my colleagues at Habeas, my departure came as something of a surprise. I actually gave two weeks notice, but Des asked me to keep my impending departure confidential until my last day so as to not add further confusion or speculation to the internal office atmosphere during the pre-merger due diligence phase. So I had to forgo the lavish, tearful going-away party that I’m certain would have otherwise been scheduled. ;-)

While I am very much looking forward to my new opportunity, I do have some regret that I won’t be around to share in the excitement and adventure of merging Habeas and Return Path. I have known many of the folks at RP for many years and they’re a good group of people. I’m sorry I won’t have the chance to work directly with them — and to continue working with all of the great folks at Habeas. However, over at Responsys, we will still be travelling in all of the same circles and I look forward to seeing some of you at various industry events, conferences, etc., going forward.

Excelsior!

Sillycon Valley Biz & Spam12 Aug 2008 09:52 am

As some folks know, August 1 was my last day at Habeas. I told a number of folks that the “other shoe” would be dropping soon, and indeed today it was announced (and discussed here and here): Habeas will be acquired by Return Path in a deal to be closed by the end of this month.

I’ve had a number of folks reach out to ask for insights, juicy details, etc. Having watched Habeas for many years, and having spent the last year working there as the company approached this crossroads, I have a unique perspective.

First and foremost, I think this acquisition is the best outcome for as many of the smart and hard-working employees of Habeas as possible. Some stakeholders are getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop, but that’s to be expected. My biggest concern has always been for the employees, and it looks like the Return Path acquisition will preserve a lot of jobs.

Generally, I think the choice to enter into this acquisition makes sense for Habeas. But “makes sense” doesn’t mean that it was inevitable. Habeas did not have to be in the position it found itself in.

I’ll refrain from airing the dirty laundry of where I think Habeas *could* have been had the executive team made some different choices at some critical moments. Suffice to say that I’ve made my peace with “what might have been” and once it was clear that those new directions weren’t going to be pursued, I did my best to pitch in and row towards the destination chosen by the glorious leader. ;-)

I’m a little dismayed — but not surprised in the least — by the classless comments of some industry observers. Many of those folks have personal axes to grind, and because I too occasionally have my own axes to grind, I understand that impulse. But I try to keep the schadenfreude to a minimum, since I know that the karmic boomerang is a real bitch. Others? Not so much, apparently.

A mentor of mine likes to say: “The best revenge is living well.” For me, life is looking just fine, as I hope it is for my friends and colleagues at Habeas and Return Path.

Coverage:

Return Path buys rival junk-mail fighter Habeas – News.com

Return Path to acquire Habeas – DM News

Behind the Habeas Fire Sale – Direct Magazine

Return Path Acquires Habeas – ClickZ