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Former co-owner of Yoast, Marieke van de Rakt, followed her husband, Joost de Valk, in stepping away from the popular Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin company. The move ushers in a new era under the ownership of Newfold Digital.
Yoast SEO – Marieke van de Rakt
Yoast SEO plugin, arguably one of the most popular and important plugins in the world, was founded in 2010 by Joost de Valk and co-owned with his wife, Marieke van de Rakt.
Marieke van de Rakt had many roles at Yoast, including Managing Director, CEO, Creative marketing manager and her most recent position at the company, Chief Growth Officer.
She was with the company during a period of remarkable growth when it grew from a bootstrapped plugin to the a multi-million dollar company employing over 140 people.
Her departure follows the sale of Yoast to the leading web presence solution provider, Newfold Digital, in August 2021.
This milestone is part of a steady transition away from the original team of Marieke van de Rakt, Joost de Valk and his younger brother, Thijs de Valk to a team as part of Newfold Digital.
Newfold Digital is home to top brands such as Bluehost, HostGator, Web.com and Network Solutions.
Yoast SEO Company Culture Remains
Although the company is transitioning to new leadership, many of the leaders within the company remain, ensuring that the company values nurtured by the original team continue as part of its DNA.
Head of Marketing at Yoast SEO, Sam Alderson, commented on how Yoast will continue to be the same company that people around the world are familiar with.
Current Yoast COO Chaya Oosterbroek and CTO Derek Herman will continue as part of the leadership at Yoast.
Sam offered the following observations to Search Engine Journal about the future of Yoast SEO:
“Chaya and Derek together are still running the company as our executive team.
We also have a strong leadership team supporting them and focusing on what this next phase of Yoast looks like.
Each of them are strong believers in WordPress and open source and will carry our mission of “SEO for everyone” forward.
In that team, we have Taco, who is heavily involved in the WordPress community and is well-loved there.
Jono, our Head of SEO who has over 10 years of experience in the SEO world and is also very involved in the core of WordPress continues at Yoast.
Myself as Head of Branding, will also work to carry forward the Yoast culture and our core values.
Marieke is leaving us in an excellent place, and since the acquisition she has been sharing her knowledge with the team.
We have a lot on the horizon and everyone is excited to see what this new phase of Yoast looks like.”
The official Yoast announcement stated:
“Whilst we’ll be sad to see Marieke leaving, it’s a positive reflection on the stability of the company and brand that she’s able to do so safely and happily.
Marieke has spent the last few months working with our teams, ensuring that her wisdom and vision is passed on successfully. “
New Phase for Yoast SEO
There is no doubt that the company culture of nurturing open source through their contributions to the WordPress core and to creating the leading SEO plugin in the world will continue.
Featured image by Shutterstock/Gabriele Maltinti