Evernote COO Linda Kozlowski Resigns After Only Months

Linda Kozlowski

Just four months after being promoted to COO, Evernote’s Linda Kozlowski has reportedly handed in her resignation letter.

TechCrunch, citing unnamed sources, said: “We’ve confirmed through multiple sources that Linda Kozlowski, Evernote’s COO, has put in her notice and will be leaving the company by the end of this year.” The post also says that at least four more executives may be leaving in coming months.

Discover the Zoho Ecosystem

Sell Your Business

Drive Traffic to Your Website

The abrupt leave of Kozlowski after a short stint in the role underscores the upheaval at Evernote at the moment.

Founded in 2007, Evernote has over 100 million users and has raised over $290 million in funding from investors like Morgenthaler Ventures, CBC Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and (more recently) Nikkei, Japan’s financial media giant.

However, the company has in recent days been slammed for lack of product focus. They seem to be in disarray, rolling out and closing a variety of vertical apps and services, putting a lot of resources on physical goods when their core business is an app. They have also been criticized for failing to convert enough people from freemium service to paid tiers.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the company’s execs are leaving, considering this year alone has seen Evernote appoint a new CEO, closed offices, laid off people, and killed off products.

Small Business Deals

The rumored departure of Kozlowski is however surprising, as she has been a key person in Evernote’s growth into new business areas and markets.

Announcing Kozlowski’s appointment to COO in June, Phil Libin, Evernote’s former CEO said, “During her tenure, Linda has worked tirelessly to bring Evernote to individuals and teams around the world. As VP of Worldwide Operations, she ran all of Evernote’s global initiatives and oversaw the expansion of Evernote into China and Brazil. More recently, Linda directed Evernote’s global pricing strategy, which culminated in the successful launch of the new Evernote Plus and Evernote Premium tiers.”

T. Rowe Price, in a report released over summer, says that its valuation of Evernote had dropped by about 26 percent in the first six months of this year. The mutual fund’s New Horizons Fund had about 25.5 million in Evernote private shares at the end of 2014, but by the end of the first half of this year, those shares had dropped in value by about 26 percent to 18.8 million.

The drastic decline of Evernote’s valuation, together with its in-house troubles, currently highlights the need for stability and security if your business is to operate effectively.

Image: Linda Kozlowski profile via Evernote 2 Comments ▼

Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

2 Reactions
  1. I am sad to hear about Evernote’s hardships at the moment. I have been a happy user and premium user (now and then, I received upgraded features with purchases of Moleskine’s Evernote notebooks).

    I thought Evernote was here to stay for at least 100 years…

    • I too am a big Evernote fan. The issue isn’t that Evernote’s product has problems, the issue is the company lost its strategic focus… in a larger way than most realize.

      When a CEO talks more about their non-core product and is lulled into a false sense of confidence by the money raised, they forget to realize that ultimately they need a strategy that will 1) generate a positive cash flow from operations and then 2) generate sustainable profit growth.

      Without that focus, this is the inevitable outcome… layoffs, cost cutting, tarnished careers and lost market momentum.

      Lost market momentum just opens up an opportunity for a competitor to come in a steal their lunch if they don’t get their mojo back fast enough.

      This was quite foreseeable at Evernote. As a customer, at the risk of coming off arrogant, I saw it coming. Their board or major investors should have seen it too and acted more quickly.