May 172007

A Thankful Moment

A Thankful Moment

While there are certainly some aspects of being a CEO that are full of those proverbial thankless tasks…there are some moments that are just the opposite.  And boy are those rewarding.

I had one this morning.  While I frequently get nice emails or handwritten cards from employees after they interview or start or get a promotion or raise — and those are all great — this is one I can easily blog about because it’s online.

Yesterday was the first official day of work for Neil Schwartzman, who actually joined us many months ago as a consultant running compliance for our Sender Score Certified whitelist but just finally became a full-time employee as we set up a Canadian entity and International entity and whatever our lawyers and accountants told us we had to do in order to be legit about hiring out of the country.

Neil’s thank you post is very entertaining (I promise, our objective isn’t to have employees drinking and slacking off!), but more than that, rewarding in that he says we do a good job at Return Path of walking the walk around ethics, reputation, and high standards in what we do for the email ecosystem.  Now that’s rewarding.

But in some ways, it’s even more meaningful coming from Neil.  Just as he says he took a risk in coming to work with us, we took a risk in bringing him on board.  As a leading voice in the anti-spam community, Neil is exactly the kind of person that spooks out some of our clients who think of anti-spammers as the enemy.  Our view is, as you can imagine, more nuanced.  Anti-spammers who do their job well are a legitimate marketer’s best friend because they are keeping the inbox clean of actual spam.  As we tell our clients, we are a big tent here — the only way we will solve our clients’ deliverability problems is by working WITH the receivers of the world on common language, rules, standards, and metrics — not working AGAINST them.  And that’s where Neil has done such a great job for us so far — bringing his unique perspective on the spam problem and working alongside many others on our deliverability team like Tom Bartel, Tom Sather, Leslie Price, Melinda Plemel to help keep the world safe for email.

So thanks, Neil…and right back at you!