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Strava names Instagram exec James Quarles as new CEO

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Strava has announced James Quarles as its new CEO. According to the company, Quarles brings to Strava invaluable experience as most recently the VP of Instagram Business and previously Regional Director of Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Current CEO and Co-Founder Mark Gainey will remain at Strava as Chairman of the Board. Co-Founder and former CEO Michael Horvath will also remain on Strava’s Board.

“We could not be more thrilled to add James to our team,” said Mark Gainey. “After a fifteen-month search, Michael and I found a partner to fully realize Strava’s potential. James will add tremendous experience and energy to our team, while also providing me and Michael with more opportunities to focus on strategic initiatives that are vital to the company’s long-term success. As a single father, I am also deeply committed to my family. Bringing James on as Chief Executive allows me to continue to champion Strava’s amazing team and community while being a more present dad to my boys.”

The Strava Board and Management Team selected Quarles after a comprehensive executive search, citing his ‘senior leadership experience, his authentic belief in Strava’s mission, and his key role in making Instagram one of the most respected and influential companies in the world’. With Strava’s passionate community of athletes and rapid growth around the world, Quarles’ background and skillset are “exactly what Strava needs to begin its next chapter,” said Gainey.

“I’m honoured,” says James Quarles, “to have been part of one amazing community-driven company and to now lead another. I’m excited to join Mark, Michael and the whole Strava team to inspire this global network of athletes and unlock its tremendous potential. We’re eager to make Strava one of the great sports brands of the 21st century.”

“We’re deeply appreciative of James’ contributions to Instagram’s growth and believe Strava has selected a great leader for its future,” said Kevin Systrom, Co-Founder and CEO of Instagram. “As an active Strava member, I’m excited to see what’s next for the company.”

Quarles will leave his post at Instagram on 19 May 2017 and assume the role of CEO of Strava on 30 May. Gainey will transition to his role of Chairman of the Board at that time.

Strava is ‘the social network for athletes’. Its mobile apps and website connect millions of active people every day.

  • 16 activities uploaded to Strava every second, 10 million every week
  • 100+ compatible mobile phones and GPS devices
  • 130+ employees, with offices in San Francisco, Hanover and Bristol
  • 600+ professional athletes
  • 17,000+ third-party developers using the Strava API
  • 1 million athletes join every 45 days
  • 100+ cities making commuting better with Strava Metro




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