When I started ERE Media in October 1998, it was a labor of love. I was a 23 year old, and spent every spare moment after my day job thinking about how to grow my hobby into something real. When we launched the first ERE Expo, I wore a suit and glasses so people would think I was older than I was. I’m pretty sure that nobody was fooled.
Next month will mark ERE’s 14th anniversary. The company now operates four brands, and has become the preeminent source of information for the recruiting profession. Thanks to TLNT, our footprint among HR professionals is rapidly growing. The team is the best in the business, and has been working together for years. I’ve had Lasik surgery, and wore jeans to the seven conferences that we produced last year.
In short, the company has matured. Despite my best efforts, so have I. It’s an exciting and important time in the recruiting/HR world, and it’s the right time for ERE to step up with new ideas, new information, and new services — things that will help us continue to better serve our community. And I’ve discovered that even though this company feels like a part of who I am, I like being the underdog more than I like running the show.
And so after a period of soul searching, I have decided to step down as CEO of ERE Media.
I’d like to introduce Ron Mester, ERE’s new CEO. Ron is uniquely qualified to grow a company like ERE Media. His understanding of recruiting and HR runs deep. He ran Towers Perrin’s San Francisco based Strategy & Organization consulting practice. More recently, Ron served as CEO of Staffing Industry Analysts, where he and Founder Peter Yessne grew the business dramatically before its sale to Crain Communications.
ERE’s team is the best group of people I’ve ever worked with, and with just over a dozen people, they regularly accomplish things that much larger companies are unable to. It’s going to take a special person to lead this team.
I’ve gotten to know Ron well in the last few months, and I know that he is the right person to steward the the unique and quirky culture of ERE Media. He is thoughtful and energetic – exactly what the company needs to take it to the next level.
Over the next couple of months we will be transitioning over the day-to-day responsibilities of running the company, until only Ron is at the helm. I will remain the Chairman of the company, and will always be available to lend a hand if I can help.
Ron will be saying a few words to introduce himself tomorrow morning, as we kick off the ERE Expo at 9:00 AM Eastern. As always, we’ll be streaming the event live, so even if you are not with us here in Florida you can tune in and hear what he has to say. I’m sure that you will all be as impressed as I am.