Larissa Hesketh-Rowe is the new CEO of CEA

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd 2018
(last updated Sunday, May 13th 2018)

We are excited to announce that Larissa Hesketh-Rowe has moved from COO to CEO of CEA.

The recent changes in Larissa’s titles -- including her promotion to COO in February and now to CEO -- have been lagging behind her responsibilities and ability. In significant part, this is because Larissa has taken on additional responsibilities at an unusually rapid pace. In August of last year, Larissa was promoted from Marketing and Communications Manager to Head of Community with managing the team responsible for for EA Global, EAGx, community health and local groups.

Six months later, Larissa became COO. For a long time Larissa has been taking on more and more of the responsibilities: managing team retreats, helping with recruitment and setting company-wide priorities. Similarly, Larissa has been operating as de facto CEO for several months as Tara has steadily decreased the number of hours she devotes to CEA.

Tara Mac Aulay will be stepping down to work on a new EA project. She will continue to actively support CEA’s work and will continue to advise Larissa as needed. Unfortunately, we can’t release many details of her new project. What we can say is that the work she is doing has an unusual combination of urgency and upside potential. It is also highly speculative and may not pan out. Tara discussed this decision with CEA’s trustees, key staff members and advisors, and the consensus opinion was that she should work on the new project. We want to thank Tara for all the amazing work she has done within the EA community in general and at CEA in particular.

Tara joined CEA in 2015 to manage our operations, and quickly began improving many of our processes. From there she quickly progressed to managing the Community and Outreach team at CEA in 2016, and then to running all of CEA.

This rapid progression is testament to Tara’s incredible focus and problem solving ability and to her dedication to doing whatever needs to be done. Her recent decision is a clear example of her seeing an opportunity to do more good and seizing it even though it was a difficult choice and involves an incredible amount of hard work. We are excited to see what she does next, and wish her all the best.

We have several exciting things planned for the rest of Q2. Some examples include the Operations Forum (May 24-28), EA Global (Jun 8-10), the EA Leaders Forum (June 11-14), a redesign of the EA Forum and the release of a new edition of the EA Handbook. We’re also scaling up our work in coaching and mentoring individual EAs to help them make the best use of their skills and so that we can gain an in-depth understanding of what support the community needs from us. This will then inform all the work we do, from supporting local communities to running our EA Global conferences.

If you’d like to find out more about what CEA is currently prioritizing, please see our current thinking or read our annual review.