A year ago, Instacart co-founder Apoorva Mehta left his post as chief executive of the grocery delivery unicorn and took on the position of executive chairman. As the company he started nearly a decade ago prepares to go public, Mehta says he will step down as executive chairman and leave the board of directors once the company goes public.
“Since moving from CEO to Executive Chairman a year ago, I realized I want to pursue a new mission and I want to do it with the same unique focus I had building Instacart,” Mehta wrote on Twitter. “By stepping off the board, I can do just that.”
Instacart confirmed the news in a press release, saying that Fidji Simo, a former Facebook executive who took over as CEO of Instacart when Mehta left the role, will be the future executive chairman of the board.
Simo quote tweeted Mehta’s announcement, thanking him “for everything he’s done for Instacart over the past ten years.” In a press release, she said that “as CEO and future chairman, I look forward to working with our retail partners to shape the next decade of supermarket evolution.”
Instacart says its board of directors includes “Meredith Kopit Levien, President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Times Company; Lily Sarafan, co-founder and executive chairman of TheKey; Barry McCarthy, Peloton President and Chief Executive Officer; Daniel Sundheim, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of D1 Capital Partners; Frank Slootman, Chairman and CEO of Snowflake; Michael Moritz, Managing Member of Sequoia Capital; and Jeff Jordan, General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz.”
Founders often move into executive chairman positions as their business grows, spins, or needs new leadership as the company shifts from a private startup to a publicly traded company. Think of the transition as being involved from time to time in day-to-day decisions to overseeing a broader strategy. Mehta’s plan to leave an already distant role could mean there’s a competitive dynamic going on between Instacart and his “new mission” he hinted at. Instacart did not address questions related to competitive dynamics in the game. Mehta’s departure could also just be a clean break after growing tensions between him and the board he once appointed.
Instacart clearly has some sort of executive reshuffle. Prior CTO Mark Schaaf is leaving the company, londonbusinessblog.com reported. In addition, US grocery delivery company Daniel Danker and Laura Jones, vice presidents of product and marketing, were recently promoted to chief product officer and chief marketing officer, respectively. Instacart also promoted its vice president of engineering, Varouj Chitilian, to the CTO role.