Updated at 12:32 pm EST
Pinterest (PINS) - Get Pinterest Inc. Class A Report shares moved lower Wednesday following news that longtime CEO Ben Silbermann will leave the group to make way for former Google (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report executive Bill Ready.
Silbermann, who co-founded the image-sharing social media group in 2010, will transition to the role of executive chairman -- while keeping a seat on the company board -- as Ready, who has also held senior leadership roles at PayPal (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc. Report, takes over.
"As you can imagine, this was a hard decision. So much of my heart belongs to Pinterest. I guess you could call it a founder's love," Silbermann told PinterEst employees. "And, when you care about something so much, the natural instinct is to hold it as tight as you can. But often, the most loving thing to do is let it go and watch it flourish in new ways. That's what is going to happen with Bill at the helm."
Pinterest shares were marked 1% lower in early afternoon trading trading, against a 0.67% decline for the Nasdaq, to change hands at $19.50 each.
Silbermann moves from his role as CEO have steered Pinterest ably during the its post-pandemic challenges, which triggered big declines in active users for online commerce groups as consumers headed back to work and spread their spending across more traditional channels.
Pinterest said its monthly active users fell 9% from last year over its fiscal first quarter, which ended in March, but still tallied around 433 million.
Revenues, however, grew 18% to $575 million, thanks to its recent drive to attract younger users, a figure that could see further improvement under some of the e-commerce initiatives expected from Ready, who marshalled payments and commercial operations at Google.
"Under Ready's leadership, Google made numerous innovations around the Shopping experience in Search," said KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Justin Patterson, who carries an 'overweight' rating with a $36 price target on the stock. "Importantly, Pinterest already has many of these assets in place today. Given his recent experiences, we believe Ready is the right executive to leverage these assets and create value."
"We believe Pinterest's Search and Shopping experiences are primed for improvement, and expect Ready to drive innovation and bolster sentiment," Patterson added.