RelayRides founder and chief community officer Shelby Clark announced today that he is leaving his day-to-day role with the company, but will remain on its board of directors. The move comes as RelayRides has added and promoted a bunch of executives with more operational experience, and as Clark is looking to get back into founder mode and start something new.
Clark started RelayRides four years ago in Boston as a way to make more efficient use of cars that spent most of their time parked and dormant. By creating a marketplace for people to rent their vehicles — kind of an Airbnb for car rentals — RelayRides was able to provide car owners with added income while also providing those without cars cheaper rentals.
Not long after, the company moved west to San Francisco, and RelayRides got funded. But as it looked to expand, the need for some execs with key operational experience became clear. In 2011, around the time of its big Series A raise, the company hired former Shopping.com chief Andre Haddad as its CEO. Prior to that, Haddad had served as SVP of product at eBay, among other roles, after his startup iBazar was acquired by the company. Clark told me the combination of Haddad’s “founding experience, CEO experience, and operations experience” was key to that decision.
Since then, RelayRides has continued to add and promote executives into operational roles. Recently, it brought on former Babycenter.com CMO Scott Kinzie as its VP of marketing, and former America Online, Nokia, and Formspring exec Tom Wang as its VP of product. It also promoted VP of business development Alex Benn to the new COO role.
Clark’s departure also comes as the company has been busy expanding nationally, in part through a partnership with GM and OnStar. Clark said he was happy to see RelayRides in a strong growth phase with a strong management team, but… “I’m a founder, I like building things and solving problems,” he told me. “I’m inspired to start something new, and branch out on a new adventure.”
CEO Andre Hadded issued the following statement on Clark’s departure:
“After more than four years pioneering peer-to-peer car sharing and building RelayRides into the leading peer-to-peer car sharing company, Shelby Clark has decided to step away from his day-to-day role at RelayRides. As an entrepreneur, Shelby’s passions are with starting businesses. We wish him the best in his next endeavor and are happy that he will continue to provide his insight and passion as a member of our board and an advisor to the company.
Moving forward, I am confident we have the best possible team in place to fulfill Shelby’s vision to revolutionize personal mobility–including our recent additions of our VP of marketing, Scott Kinzie, and our VP of product, Tom Wang.”