Carolyn Everson, who only joined Instacart as president in September, is departing the grocery shopping app. A memo attributed to Ryan Mayward, Instacart’s VP of ad sales, was sent to Instacart brand partners on Friday, saying, "there was a clear mismatch between our priorities and the role she wanted at this point in her career."
"Her departure was a mutual decision. We believe it's what's best for both the company and Carolyn. There was a clear mismatch between our priorities and the role she wanted at this point in her career."
Everson was barely three months on the job at Instacart, where she had reunited with Fidji Simo, who became CEO of the shopping app after leaving her role as head of the Facebook app.
“We’re grateful to Carolyn for her contributions to Instacart. Her departure was a mutual decision and not one that we took lightly. We believe it’s the right decision for both the company and Carolyn based on our priorities and the role she was looking for at this point in her career. She’ll be staying on with us through the end of the year, and leaves as a friend to the company,” Instacart CEO Fidji Simo said in a statement
Just last week, Everson joined Ad Age CMO Next as a speaker talking about her future at Instacart, which is an up-and-coming app competing with the likes of Amazon and Walmart.
“After careful consideration and discussion with Fidji, we’ve made the mutual decision to wind down my role at Instacart at the end of the year. Fidji and I have been friends for over 10 years and we both agreed that this was the best decision for the company and for me personally. I believe in the company’s mission and the team, and am grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to Instacart’s growth. I intend to take time to dream up what’s next,” Everson said in a statement.
At Facebook, Everson was the head of global business group. At Instacart, she had planned to oversee larger swaths of the business, including helping to shape corporate policies and human resources decisions, among other things.
“You know one of the attractions at Instacart, for me, was of course the advertising sales team is part of my world, and retail partnerships,” Everson told Ad Age last week. “But also it allowed me to really go into more of the culture and people, because the HR team reports into me, the legal team, the customer care team and business development.”
Mayward’s email to e-commerce partners did not elaborate on Everson’s divergent “priorities” with other parts of the team. Mayward just said: “Your relationship with Instacart is in good hands. I will continue leading the advertising sales and service organizations and will report to Nick Giovanni, our CFO.”
In October, Instacart had another high-profile departure when Seth Dallaire, a former Amazon ad exec, left as Instacart’s chief revenue officer to become Walmart’s chief revenue officer.
Everson also posted on Facebook confirming she was leaving the company. In it she noted that next week marks her 50th birthday. "As for what’s next, my birthday present to myself is a real break while I dream up what’s next," she wrote in the post. "Yes--this time, I will be taking time. I know our time is short on this Earth and I know I want to keep making a difference and keep focusing on enlightened leadership and the importance of building strong cultures for people to thrive personally and professionally."
"The job just wasn’t big enough for her," said one person familiar with the matter. It was pitched as president, "but turned out to be less broad. She’s CEO material, doesn’t need to compromise."
A marketing executive close to Instacart said the sudden departure came as a shock, and would be a big loss for Instacart.
“I can’t understand,” the marketing exec at a major brand said on condition of anonymity. “Carolyn just wanted to have meetings with our CMO. I am officially flabbergasted."