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Exclusive: Kajabi adds ex-Atlassian executive to board

Jun 11, 2024
a photo illustration of Cameron Deatsch of Kajabi in front of a striped background

Cameron Deatsch. Photo illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios; Photo: Courtesy of Cameron Deatsch,

Kajabi, the tech startup that helps people create and sell online courses, has added Atlassian's former CRO Cameron Deatsch to its board.

Why it matters: The appointment brings product marketing expertise to the creator economy startup as it seeks to add and retain more customers.

Catch up quick: Deatsch joined Australian enterprise software company Atlassian in 2012 as senior director of advocacy in its San Francisco office and was promoted to the C-suite in 2020. Prior, he worked at BEA Systems (acquired by Oracle) and Jive Software.

  • He left Atlassian in November 2023 with the goal of spending more time with family and serving as an independent board member. He joined the board of customer communications platform Intercom earlier this year.
  • Kajabi last raised $550 million in growth equity financing, led by Tiger Global Management, in 2021. The company is valued at more than $2 billion.

Zoom in: Deatsch tells Axios that he became more familiar with Kajabi after its 2021 funding round and was intrigued by how it served niche creators, including how it did not rely on ad revenue sharing.

  • "I think the entire [creator] industry driven by the huge social platforms is really optimized around driving advertising revenue where those big platforms take the bulk of it," Deatsch says. "Kajabi flipped it on its head."
  • Deatsch says his expertise includes scaling revenue and customers and building teams around those goals. Atlassian also trained him on growth through both self-serve platforms and direct sales.
  • Other board members are Kajabi co-founder Kenny Rueter, former GoDaddy CEO Scott Wagner and Pinterest CMO Andréa Mallard.

Zoom out: Creator economy funding collapsed last year, and some startups in the sector like Jellysmack and Cameo made massive cuts.

  • But funding has picked up in 2024. It more than doubled in the first quarter compared to the prior year, per The Information's Creator Economy Database.
  • Deatsch says he is bullish on Kajabi given his belief that more people will be creating specialized content in the future.
  • "There's a ton of people with great knowledge and great skills to share," Deatsch says. "Advertising [revenue] doesn't make sense for a large portion of the [creator] market."

Fun fact: Deatsch is also spending his time away from a full-time role training for a triathlon, which takes place in his hometown of Tahoe on June 29.

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