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Strava appoint James Quarles as new CEO

With the current CEO staying at Strava as Board Chairman, Quarles is Strava's second high-profile hire from Instagram this year.....

Quarles recently served as Vice-President of Instagram and joins Strava as CEO in place of Mark Gainey, who will stay on as Chairman of Strava’s board of directors. He's the second high-profile appointment for Strava  from Instagram in the last three months, after Kevin Weil, Instagram's Head of Product, joined as a board member in February. 

Strava adds Athlete Posts feature

Strava gets emojis, a big pile of cash and a heavy hitter from Instagram and Twitter on its board

After a 15 month search to find Strava’s new CEO, Gainey revealed the reason for standing down was personal as well as a business decision: “James will add tremendous experience and energy to our team, while also providing me and Michael with more opportunities to focus on strategic initiatives that are vital to the company’s long-term success. As a single father, I am also deeply committed to my family. Bringing James on as Chief Executive allows me to continue to champion Strava's amazing team and community while being a more present dad to my boys.”


What does this suggest for the future of Strava?

Quarles comes in just as Strava roll out their Athlete Posts update, which will allow all users to share stories, photos and various other kinds of content with their followers, evidently to make it a more rounded social platform. This heavier focus on integrating social media into Strava makes their mission clearer – with Strava saying they want it to become “the place where athletes can have everything they love about their sport in one app.”

Although Strava have always put connectivity with other apps and platforms high on their agenda, in my opinion appointing a social media expert as CEO along with creating the Athlete Posts feature is further evidence that Strava ideally want their users to partake in all their social media activities ‘under one roof’, so to speak.

Are you an avid Strava fan? What do you think the future holds for the platform? Let us know in the comments section

Arriving at in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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andyeb | 7 years ago

Seems the new CEO doesn't even ride a bike:

This explains a lot.

Leviathan | 7 years ago

Perhaps we will get those age group KOMs, and I can delete GPS glitch 1/1 segments or the remove the cock and balls someone drew in a field near my house.

Strava Police arrest this man...

tritecommentbot | 7 years ago

They need to acquire RidewithGPS and integrate that route planning software. Strava's own effort is clunky and has been in beta for ages. RidewithGPS's is ridiculously smooth, it's a must buy for them. Mapping should be core to the Strava experience, and they could integrate it with their segments and segment options, ie. 'Plan route with most hilly KOM's' etc and have cracking visuals pop up as you scroll over the map.

The social media thing is obviously needd for growth - they need to hook users into a community experience. Anyone can export their GPX files en masse and move platform, so they need to build relationships, whether anyone likes it or not, it's what will eventually keep you there. It'll just piss you off temporarily until you adjust. Techies know that. people cry, then adjust. Very few people really quit anything permanently unless there's something just as good around the corner and even if there is, you can bring out a new killer feature later and reel them back. 

Strava boss people, if you're listening - give us options. That's how you improve Strava. Options. Checkboxes for all sorts of stuff. The stuff the Strava forums are filled with. Hide Commutes, Virtual Rides etc. Mute options, to mute certain folk, like Twitter. All that good stuff. Do it.

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