The social media app VSCO, which became something of a cultural flashpoint several years ago on the back of the VSCO girl trend, announced the appointment of a new CEO on Monday. Current VSCO president Eric Wittman will step into the top job, while former CEO and cofounder Joel Flory will become executive chairman.
Wittman is an “experienced operator deeply passionate about our space and, more importantly, he has a vision for the future,” Flory told Fortune in an exclusive interview.
VSCO started as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop before morphing into a fully fledged social media app. The company has been on a journey to reinvent itself since the VSCO girl trend circa 2019, when affluent teenage girls with a style heavily influenced by the app’s content thrust it to the apex of youth culture. More recently, it distinguished itself for its stated aversion to advertising and algorithmic feeds, which the company believes incentivize the worst in social media by prioritizing engagement above all else. Since the heyday of its teen popularity VSCO has sought to become the platform of choice for visual artists, and increasingly creatives of all types, by combining social media’s networking ability with bona fide design tools for the genuinely artsy.
“We knew that for the future of VSCO, there needed to be a respect for the past and what we built,” Flory tells Fortune. “But to really succeed, someone needed a fresh, unique vision of the future and Eric’s stood out above them all.”
VSCO currently operates on a freemium model. Users who decide to upgrade from the free version get access to a set of more sophisticated editing and design tools. As a private company, VSCO doesn’t release revenue figures but a spokesperson told Fortune it had positive EBITDA, a proxy for cash flow. The company added that it has raised approximately $100 million in venture capital funding from the likes of Accel and Glynn Capital, with Pitchbook estimating its valuation at $550 million as of 2015, according to Pitchbook. (VSCO declined to provide a current valuation.)
Wittman became president of VSCO in June 2021 with the prospect of eventually succeeding Flory, who had been CEO since he founded the company in 2011 alongside cofounder Greg Lutze. “It was part of the early conversations we had,” Wittman says.
An experienced tech hand with a speciality working at companies that make creative tools, Wittman spent 15 years at Adobe before…