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The CEO Of A Top Progressive Digital Firm Has Stepped Down

Revolution Messaging helped raise millions for Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Originally posted on
Updated on

The head of Revolution Messaging, the progressive digital firm that helped lead Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, is stepping down from his role as CEO amid what he described to staff in an email Wednesday morning as a "year of transition" for the company.

Scott Goodstein, a veteran of the 2008 Obama campaign who founded his self-described "punk rock DIY" firm, will remain at the company as a partner. One of the company's two other partners, Keegan Goudiss, will step into the role of interim CEO, leading a search committee for a permanent replacement.

A HuffPost article in February detailed staffers' frustration with management's handling of a 2016 sexual assault allegation against one of the firm's partners. The male partner was fired, according to HuffPost, but the woman at the center of the allegation departed the company not long after as well.

In March, employees at the firm began the unionization process.

"This has been a year of transition for Revolution Messaging," Goodstein wrote in an email to staff Wednesday morning. "When I said we will be making changes at RevMsg, I was serious about making space for new leadership within the team. Today marks a major step toward that goal."

Goodstein, who also addressed staff at an all-hands meeting in Washington on Wednesday, said that his new role will allow for more of a focus on the "core work" of Revolution Messaging: "hands-on time with our clients and their evolving needs, continuing my partnership contributions from there."

"I am proud of all we have achieved together and I am excited for our company’s future," Goodstein wrote in the email. "As we have always stated, 'Every generation needs a new revolution.' And I’m excited for the next generation to lead this new chapter."

A spokesperson for the firm said that Goodstein retains shares in the firm, but plans to shift a portion of those shares and become a minority stakeholder. Goudiss, the spokesperson said, will have decision-making responsibilities as interim CEO.

The full email:

This has been a year of transition for Revolution Messaging. When I said we will be making changes at RevMsg, I was serious about making space for new leadership within the team. Today marks a major step toward that goal.

I am moving to a new role that will allow me to spend more hands-on time with our clients and their evolving needs, continuing my partnership contributions from there. As you know, Revolution Messaging has been a leader in both innovating technology as well as experimenting and implementing new online tactics to amplify our client’s voices. For much of the last year, I have been working to shift my responsibilities back toward that core work. With Trump in the White House and Putin still in the Kremlin, I feel it is time for me to focus all of my energy on creative organizing and mobilization.

Keegan will become managing partner and interim CEO of Revolution Messaging. He will start a search committee for a new CEO and make additional changes to elevate folks into new leadership roles in the days ahead.

As a member of Revolution Messaging from its earliest days, Keegan had the vision and foresight to build our digital advertising department from scratch, growing the team to be a progressive powerhouse that upended old assumptions about campaign finance and ignite a new type of grassroots movements. There is no one better to lead us through this transition.

I am proud of all we have achieved together and I am excited for our company’s future. As we have always stated, “Every generation needs a new revolution” And I’m excited for the next generation to lead this new chapter. As you all know, we have created an amazing amount of new technologies and innovated the digital landscape in dozens of ways over the last decade. Together we will continue to use the Internet to fight back against the right-wing threats to the US and abroad.

Scott Goodstein

Ruby Cramer is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Ruby Cramer at ruby.cramer@buzzfeed.com.

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