Strava Appoints YouTube Exec Michael Martin As New CEO


After a year-long search, activity-tracking platform Strava has announced the appointment of Michael Martin as its new CEO, effective from January 2, 2024. Martin, who currently serves as the general manager at YouTube’s shopping unit, brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles at Nike, NBCUniversal Media, and Disney.

Key Takeaway

Strava has appointed Michael Martin as its new CEO, signaling a shift towards growth and diversification. With its user base already substantial, the company aims to find new ways of monetization beyond subscriptions and data insights.

The Next Phase of Growth

Strava, co-founded by Michael Horvath and Mark Gainey in 2009, has become the go-to platform for recording and sharing activities such as rides and runs. With over 120 million members, the company experienced significant growth during the pandemic and raised $110 million in a Series F funding round. However, as a venture capital-backed company, Strava is now focused on realizing returns for its investors.

Challenges and Opportunities

While Strava has seen impressive growth, it has faced challenges in capitalizing on its momentum. The company recently introduced a pricing upgrade that caused frustration among its customer base. In response, the new leadership may explore diversifying revenue streams, potentially through advertising, affiliate partnerships, or other means.

Michael Martin’s experience at YouTube, where he helps creators diversify their businesses through commerce, suggests that he could bring fresh perspectives to Strava’s revenue model. Additionally, Strava has made strategic acquisitions, such as 3D mapping platform Fatmap, and introduced in-app messaging, further enhancing its platform and fostering a stronger sense of community among users.

With Martin set to join Strava’s board alongside prominent figures like Mark Gainey and Gustav Gyllenhammar, the company is poised for continued growth and innovation. Michael Horvath, co-founder and outgoing CEO, will stay on as an executive advisor, supporting Martin in building upon Strava’s existing foundation.

As Strava enters this new chapter, Martin’s appointment heralds a significant milestone for the company. The focus on growth and diversification, coupled with Martin’s experience, suggests a promising future for Strava and its dedicated community.

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