Co-founders Steven Bartlett and Dominic McGregor to leave Social Chain

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

Steven Bartlett and Dominic McGregor are to leave Social Chain, six years after co-founding the Manchester-based social media publishing and marketing company that has since grown to over 750 staff and revenues forecast to hit $200million this year.

CEO Bartlett and COO McGregor were just 20 and 21 respectively when they launched the firm and have overseen exponential growth.

As well as Manchester, Social Chain now has bases in Berlin, London, New York and Munich and works with global brands including Amazon, Coca Cola and Apple, and claims an owned media reach of over 2 billion views a month.

Last year, the company merged with German online retailer Lumaland AG to become The Social Chain AG and list on XETRA and the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange.

And it recently announced the largest acquisition in its history, taking a 51% stake in A4D Inc, a Southern Californian digital performance marketing agency.

Bartlett, who has not yet revealed what he plans to do next, said: “Social Chain was conceived on a small desk in the backroom of the uni I had just dropped out of in Manchester. I was 20, full of wild dreams, and I believed we could take on the world.

"What started as a crazy and sometimes ridiculed idea, in the mind of a few drop-out underdogs, at a time when people didn’t believe in the potential of this new thing called social media, turned into the most unforgettable ride of a lifetime.

Co-founder Dominic McGregor, who is also stepping down

"As I write this, at 27, we have more than 700 Social Chainers around the world, a world-beating team, we went public last year, we are the best at what we do, and we’ve just posted record numbers. The company is showing unbelievable momentum and I remain Social Chain's biggest fan, supporter, and believer.

"I owe an unpayable debt of gratitude to my team, past and present. If it wasn’t for you (and mum and dad), I would be nothing. As a fairly public CEO, I’ve unavoidably taken an unfair amount of credit for what we achieved together. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and thank you to all of you that have supported and believed in me.”

McGregor added: "This business has been my rock, even when I faced difficult times in my personal life. The purpose it gave me, and the people I worked with got me through – they gave me something to fight for and without it, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today."

Wanja S. Oberhof, currently Co-CEO of Social Chain AG will retain his position as CEO.

Writing on LinkedIn, Bartlett's only reference to his future was as follows: "Soon it'll be time to dream again."