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Rand Fishkin at his standing desk at the Moz office in Seattle.

More than 16 years after launching Moz, Rand Fishkin is ready for his next adventure.

MozOver the next six-to-nine months, Fishkin will step away from day-to-day operations at the Seattle-based maker of marketing software tools and move into a supporting role as a Moz Associate, as Moz CEO Sarah Bird described today in a blog post.

“He will continue to be a passionate speaker and evangelist, and you’ll still see his enthusiastic face in Whiteboard Fridays, on the Moz Blog, and on various conference stages,” Bird wrote. “And of course, he is one of our largest shareholders and will remain Chairman of the Board.”

After the company went through tough times, Fishkin stepped down from the CEO post in 2013, handing the reins to Bird, his longtime confidant who was Moz’s eighth employee. The SEO expert stayed involved as a product architect at the company he started with his mother, Gillian Muessig, and which originally launched as SEOMoz.

We reached out to Fishkin to learn more about his future, and will update this story when we hear back. He’s writing a book about his experience at Moz that will debut next year.

Update: Fishkin shared this statement:

“I’m very sad to be leaving Moz, but will continue to support the team through 2017 and beyond. I don’t have any additional comments on Sarah’s post, but hope to write something myself in the further out future.”

Moz now counts 36,000 customers and 160 employees. It posted more than $42 million in annual revenue last year, up from $38 million in 2015. After raising a $10 million round in early 2016, Moz cut 28 percent of its staff in a round of layoffs this past August.

[Editor’s Note: Moz is a GeekWire annual sponsor.]

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