Online self-publishing platform provider Wattpad has announced that its president Jeanne Lam will be departing the company at the end of the year.
Lam resigns seven months after she was tapped to lead Wattpad. She took the reins of the company in May, following Wattpad founding CEO Allen Lau’s decision to step aside and become its executive advisor.
At the time of Lam’s appointment to president in September 2021, Lau said that “Jeanne’s skills and experience are the perfect mix to lead Wattpad.”
Wattpad said that Lam has decided to “pursue new ventures,” but provided no additional details.
Lam was tapped to lead Wattpad after founding CEO Allen Lau stepped back in May.
Lam held an eight-year tenure at Wattpad. Before she became its president, Lam served as the Toronto-based firm’s chief business officer for about two years. She joined the company in 2015 as its director of growth, and was promoted to general manager of Wattpad in 2017.
Prior to joining Wattpad, Lam was head of growth marketing for 3D printing marketplace Shapeways; director of marketing and business intelligence at GoPago; and held director roles at Yahoo.
When Lam spoke to BetaKit in August, she said that her leadership’s focus would remain on creating more value for writers. “My vision is: invest in the people, the programs, the technology, [and] the products that really support creators on their journey in building their fandom.”
According to Wattpad, Lam has been a key part of the company’s growth and evolution. She played a role in the company monetizing content on its platform through Wattpad Paid Stories, which was launched in 2019.
“My time at Wattpad has been the most rewarding of my career,” said Lam. “I have spent the past eight years working alongside the most incredible team, growing this business and the global Wattpad community, bringing stories to the world that are changing people’s lives.”
Wattpad announced its executive switch-up this week, noting in a blog post that Naver Webtoon’s KB Nam was appointed as its interim president. Based in Toronto, Nam will report to Ken Kim, CEO of Webtoon Americas.
Founded in 2006 by Lau and Ivan Yuen (CSO), Wattpad’s website and app allows users to read and publish original written work such as articles, fanfiction, and poems, among others. It claims to have a community of more than 94 million people, including five million writers. To date, around 1,500 stories that were created on Wattpad have been published as books or adapted for TV and film.
Naver revealed its intent to acquire Wattpad in January last year for an estimated $754 million CAD ($600 million USD). After the transaction was completed in May of that year, Naver combined the respective production studios of Wattpad and Webtoon, investing $100 million USD in the merged entity.
Featured image courtesy Startup Canada.