December 5, 2021

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Discord Chief Marketing Officer Tesa Aragones Departs

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Discord’s chief marketing officer has left the company after a little more than a year in the role, Forbes has learned.

Tesa Aragones, who joined Discord in September 2020, left the San Francisco-based company earlier this month. In a statement to Forbes, Aragones confirmed her departure and said “the brand strength metrics have never been stronger.” According to a Discord spokesperson, CEO Jason Citron will be interim CMO until a replacement is found.

“When I joined the company, the priorities were to build the brand and help make Discord a place for all kinds of communities,” Aragones wrote. “The work I led resulted in a new vision that unified the company around inclusivity, and a sharpened mission to create space for everyone to find belonging. It has been rewarding to see how this shift has helped strengthen Discord’s voice and rally the company around things that truly matter to its community members.”

It’s been a pivotal year for Discord. The chat app—once known for its core user base of gamers—has been at the epicenter for discussions about some of the hottest internet topics of the year including meme stocks, cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Months after raising a $100 million in June 2020, Discord raised another $100 million in December 2020—giving the company a valuation of $7 billion. Then in September 2021, it raised another $500 million, bringing its valuation to around $15 billion just a few months after reportedly ending acquisition talks with Microsoft. In addition to the funding news, Discord also unveiled a new rebrand in May that featured an updated color palette along with changes to its logo and font. 

When Aragones joined Discord in September 2020, the goal was expand beyond its core audience to become platform for a variety of audiences. The company says it now has 150 million monthly active users, up from 56 million monthly active users in 2019. According to data from CB Insights and Sensor Tower, Discord’s total quarterly app installs grew steadily in from fourth-quarter 2019 through fourth-quarter 2020 before falling in the first and second quarters of 2021.

“Tesa has done incredible work in helping us build Discord’s brand,” Citron said in a statement sent to Forbes. “We are grateful for the contributions she’s made as we’ve expanded to welcome people and communities all over the world to our service.”

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Discord’s momentum has not been without mishaps. Earlier this month, the company reportedly suspended plans to integrate cryptocurrencies and NFTs into the platform after Citron seemed to suggest on Twitter plans for adding crypto wallets MetaMask and WalletConnect. After users complained that the move might make way from pyramid schemes and fraud, Citron later tweeted that Discord had “no current plans to ship” the internal concept. Instead, he said, the company was “focused on protecting users from spam, scams and fraud.”

Prior to joining Discord, Aragones had a long track record of growing user bases. During her decade-long tenure at Nike, she built the fitness brands’ digital training community and its first iPhone app. Aragones then spent two years as CMO at the photo- and video-focused app VSCO, where she doubled memberships subscriptions in two years.

While Aragones wouldn’t disclose the reasoning behind her reason for leaving or any future plans, she said “I’m proud of these achievements and I’m proud of my team,” adding that she’ll announce what’s next “in the new year.”

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