Leaving Automattic

I just posted this (which I have slightly edited) to an internal p2.

I am leaving Automattic

This has nothing at all do with Automattic, WordPress or any event / person here or anywhere else.

The seed for this was planted in 1985 when my – and Jacqui’s – nursing career started. Back then retirement was an option in the National Health Service when you got to 55 years old. In 2017 my wife Jacqui and I started talking about my leaving and it was planned to be June 2019 when I hit that age. She did all the planning.

In December 2018 the multiple sclerosis took Jacqui away from me. Her death I’ll never get over. Losing the closest person to you for over 32 years is something you just cannot explain. My world has changed completely. I spent a lot of time last year trying to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have no idea. As that road led me nowhere I flipped it around – what do I not want to do? The answer to that came quickly.
I do not want to spend as much time sitting in front of a computer.

I am in my 17th year of doing WordPress Support and tomorrow will start my 15th year here. I still love doing Support – how can you not love being a hero to someone every day? – but I am in a huge rut. For so many years I did only three things – I was either working, caring for Jacqui or sleeping. These days I’m either working, sleeping or not knowing what to do. That void needs filling and this rut needs flattening out.
So I am going to do the one thing that I know Jacqui would have wanted me to do and follow her plan.

What will I be doing? Covid has changed plans so … I have a huge gaming backlog (Fallout New Vegas beckons), a very long list of books I want to read, many vegetarian/vegan recipes I want to try. Summer approaches, longer dog walks and getting back into cycling. Post-covid I will spend more time at the local library where I am a trustee on the board of the charity that runs it. I also want to find other local charities and volunteer positions to help with.

It’s been really really cool to have met great people from the WordPress.org forums who were there in my time including @mdawaffe (he had long hair then! I have pics!), @macmanx, @cena.

[Lots of Thank You section]

It’s been good to have been with WordPress since 2004, to see it grow into the platform it is today. I am proud to have been a tiny part of that.

My last shift will be the morning of Tuesday 14 April. I’ll pop into our team Zoom chat at noon to say goodbye and raise a glass to my team mates. I know I will cry. I am just typing this.

Take care, stay safe and thank you.

That’s it.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.


Stopping my 6am alarm (I will have to talk to Zelda about this)

Is it the right thing to have done? Yes, it is.

Regrets? Nope, I don’t do regrets. Act, move on, do not look back. Life has no Undo.

The future? I have as much of an idea about mine as you do yours.
Shit happens.

Plans for post-Covid?
Trips to Sheffield and Axbridge

17 Jan 2004 I installed WordPress – and now I’m here


11 thoughts on “Leaving Automattic

  1. Mark! I’m so happy for you, for moving on to doing things that will make you happy. You *will* cry (I did), but if you feel that the time is right, then it’s right! Enjoy your new-found time to do the things you love, and I’ll raise a glass to you!

  2. I’m filling up reading that, so can’t imagine how it must be for you. However, I’m dead pleased for you as well. I know that C-19 has scuppered lots but I’m definitely looking forward to that visit and I will definitely be down to KM post-Covid, too.

    1. It’s weird. Like today was silent. Haven’t spoken to anyone. But that’s the new normal for so many people.
      Definitely want to travel up and meet you and Steve again – we could meet in the same pub where we first met – for Sheffield 2? – and have lunch 🙂

  3. Mark! Podz! After all these years since we first crossed paths in the WP forums, and I only just got to meet you for real last GM? And now you’re gone. No undo button, indeed.

    I wish and hope all the best for you going forward, and am excited to follow your upcoming post-Automattic adventures.

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