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Chase Jarvis and Mika Salmi
Chase Jarvis and Mika Salmi

Mika Salmi is stepping down as CEO of fast-growing online education company CreativeLive, handing the reins to co-founder Chase Jarvis.

Salmi, a former Viacom executive who previously led Atom Films, joined the company in April 2012, helping to score several rounds of venture capital financing. The most recent of which was a $21.5 million round that closed last November. Salmi will remain on the board of the company, which is split between Seattle and San Francisco.

CreativeLive co-founder Chase Jarvis at the company's offices on Thomas Street in Seattle.
CreativeLive co-founder Chase Jarvis at the company’s offices on Thomas Street in Seattle.

A world-renowned photographer, Jarvis founded CreativeLive in 2010 with entrepreneur Craig Swanson. In a blog post, Jarvis said that the company is “healthy and strong,” and noted that they are “just getting started.”

“We couldn’t have come this far without Mika, and I’m over the moon that he’ll continue to make an impact as an active member of our Board,” he wrote. 

“Our goals are huge and our mission is lofty, so the road ahead won’t be an easy one,” he added. “But we are the right team to achieve these goals. I am immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to lead this CL team and serve our amazing community.”

Here’s the memo from Salmi that CreativeLive posted on its blog today. We’ve got an email into both Salmi and Jarvis asking for more details.

Team CreativeLive,

In today’s All Hands, we discussed my move to the Board of Directors of CreativeLive — and Chase’s appointment as CEO.

As you all know, I love this company and am passionate about what we do. We have a powerful business, and by providing free education, we make a positive social impact on the world. This decision to change the leadership was driven by the desire to make CreativeLive the strongest, most effective and successful company it can be.

We all know what an amazing guy Chase is. I have worked closely with him for over two years and have been continually impressed with his business acumen and skills as a leader. Not to mention, as a world-renowned “creative” himself, he deeply understands our company and this market. This puts him in a unique position to lead us. Plus, you can’t beat a Founder as CEO. I recognized this opportunity and it became clear to me, the Board and the senior Executive Team with Chase as the CEO, there is a huge opportunity for CreativeLive.

The time is right to make this change. CreativeLive is in excellent shape. In the past two years, the company grew from 8 to 85 employees, expanded our classes beyond photography, continually improved the quality of our broadcasts, innovated with our site and user experience, raised over $30 million from top-tier investors, and grew our revenue by over 600%. March was a strong month, and we are poised for continued growth throughout the rest of 2014.

As a Board member, I will be working closely with Chase and the other Board members on strategy and focused on pursuing external relationships. I will remain close, in both practice and proximity — please grab me and tell me what you are up to when you catch me in the office!

I’m so proud of this team and all that we’ve accomplished together. CreativeLive is in a unique and powerful position in the online education market. With Chase at the helm, this position just got stronger.


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