Evernote lost its CTO, CFO, CPO and HR head in the last month

Ingrid Lunden, writing for TechCrunch

Evernote, the productivity app with 225 million users that lets people take notes and organise other files from their working and non-work life, has been on a mission to reset its image as the go-to service for those seeking tools to help themselves be more efficient, years after losing its place as one of the most popular apps in the app store. But those changes have not come without their own challenges.

TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that in the last month, Evernote  lost several of its most senior executives, including its CTO Anirban Kundu, CFO Vincent Toolan, CPO Erik Wrobel and head of HR Michelle Wagner beyond the usual attrition of engineers and designers.

The departures are coming at a key time: we have also heard that Evernote is fundraising, potentially in a down-round from its most recent (but now several years-old) valuation of $1.2 billion.

The company would not comment on the funding but confirmed the staff departures. It has not provided an over-arching reason for these latest personnel changes, but notably, rather than re-hiring from outside for the vacated roles, Evernote is shifting existing, in some cases recently joined employees to take on different responsibilities.

Ranjit Prabhu, who joined the company in May 2018 as SVP of engineering, will partner with Andrew Malcolm — who had been the CMO but as of August has taken on a new title as SVP of product, growth and marketing — to work on how tech and product will fit together (he’s not taking a formal CTO title, though). Susan Stick, another recent hire (June 2018) who is the company’s general counsel — a role that appeared to be vacant for two years before she joined — is expanding her role to include people operations as well. Lastly, Francie Strong, who had been VP of communications, is taking on an expanded role as SVP of brand and communications.

This is the second major revamp of the startup’s leadership team in a little over two years. In March 2016, the company lost its founding CTO and made a number of other appointments amid a wave of departures and other big changes.

Chris O’Neill, who joined as CEO after long-time leader Phil Libin stepped away from the role, had already shuttered a number of unprofitable operations that Evernote had launched in an attempt to grow the company, including the closure of its accessories business, and several other app efforts such as some versions of Skitch and its Food app.

(Today, it has three smartphone apps, its flagship Evernote app, Skitch and Scannable for digitising business cards, receipts and other paper-based items; plus handwriting recognition app Penultimate for tablets.)
In the years since then, Evernote has been somewhat quiet, but there have been other significant changes and divestments. In June, Evernote announced that it would spin out its Chinese operations and become a minority shareholder. Yinxiang Biji, as it’s called, accounted for 10 percent of Evernote’s revenues. And some of the company’s movement has been problematic: a controversial change in the company’s privacy policy, which would have made it possible for employees in the company to read a user’s notes in the app, got quickly reassessed and altered as people publicly slammed the company.

Evernote has certainly witnessed a lot of shifts in its business over the years.

Lots of shifting around over at Evernote….