Learn / Blog / Article
Hotjar has a new CEO
"Today marks an important milestone in the history of Hotjar. On behalf of the Hotjar co-founders and team we are delighted to announce that Mohannad Ali, our Chief Product and Technology Officer, is taking on the role of CEO."
Last updated17 Sep 2021
"Since joining in early 2019, Mohannad has had a tremendous impact on Hotjar. His strong product and technology background, coupled with his leadership and execution skills, have allowed us to think bigger and move faster. It's been a pleasure to work closely with him these past two years, and it didn't take long to realize he would lead the company one day.
I consider myself lucky to be able to pass on the CEO role to someone I feel is stronger than me in so many ways—but most importantly, someone who really represents Hotjar's Core Values. Mohannad is curious, determined, and holds a good balance between being ambitious and showing respect—to our team, our customers, and our community. We're lucky to have him as our new CEO.
As for myself, I am moving into a new role that plays more to my strengths and the long-term needs of Hotjar: I've taken on the much-needed role of Chairman, where I will focus on strengthening the Hotjar board so we can invest faster and smarter in how we bring value to our customers and the industry."
–David Darmanin, Hotjar Founder
An open letter from the Hotjar CEO
July 1, 2021
Dear Hotjar community,
I would like to first thank David and the Hotjar co-founders for trusting me to lead Hotjar into the future. I have big shoes to fill, but with David’s continued support I am confident that together we’ll be able to take Hotjar to new heights.
We are so proud to have helped millions of customers create better product experiences for their users over the past seven years. Hotjar has grown into the Product Experience Insights software of choice for small and medium businesses, and creators who are passionate about building great experiences.
Hotjar's success has been a true team effort—our team has grown to over 180 Hotjarians in 33 countries. But our story is still only beginning.
As we continue to grow Hotjar, a more mature system of governance will empower us to unlock our full potential as a team and deliver more value to our community. With David as Chairman and myself as CEO, we strike a powerful balance that will maximize our ability to execute on our goals, plan for the future, and build a world-class sustainable business that delights our customers.
I would like to take the opportunity now to share a special message with our team at Hotjar:
It's a privilege to have the opportunity to serve such a talented and exceptional team. My promise to you is that I will work every day to help everyone become the best version of themselves, and continue creating a world-class place to work. The reason for our success so far has always been about putting our team first, and that is something that we will always be committed to, regardless of what the future holds.
Hotjar's vision for the future
Our vision for the future is simple: we are on this journey together to reach the full potential of what Hotjar can be, and what we can do for the world.
We believe in our team and their ability to accomplish great things together.
We believe in our product and the value we create for our users every day.
We believe in our contributions to our community and stakeholders, and the ethical business practices we have followed since day one.
A better product, for everyone
As a product-led company, we put a lot of emphasis on building great products that deliver real value to our customers. This is why we're increasing our investment in our product more than ever before. We are also committed to keeping our free plan, forever.
Here is what Megan Murphy, our VP of Product, has to say about it:
“At Hotjar, we make Product Experience Insights for teams to improve their product experiences. As you can imagine, it’s pretty meta to build a product that helps teams build better products. But this proximity is what keeps us really grounded and close to our users and the broader Hotjar community.
Over the last year, we’ve doubled our Product, Design, Data, and Engineering teams so that we can level up the depth of functionality and the quality of the experience we deliver to you—the community we are so fortunate to serve! And I’d be lying if I said it were easy… you might have noticed that we’ve retired a few products, fundamentally shifted how we collect data, and made some changes to our packaging—all while scaling up our team. The confluence of these changes have empowered our product teams to double down and focus on delivering the most essential value to our users: surfacing truly insightful signals of user behavior so that they can turn user insights into business outcomes.
We are so grateful to serve customers around the world who are out there building such a diverse mix of online experiences, and we are more energized than ever to make Hotjar more valuable for our community!”
–Megan Murphy, VP of Product
A bigger world-class Hotjar team
We take a lot of pride in the team we have built, and we will continue growing our team to increase our capacity to serve our customers. In 2021 alone, we are adding over 130 new roles, and we will continue growing the team further in the years to come while ensuring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion remain a critical component of our hiring strategy. If you’re interested in applying for a job at Hotjar, check out our careers website—but first a few words from Ken Weary, our VP of Operations:
“Many companies have well-written core values, but prior to working at Hotjar I had never worked for a company that really lived their values. At Hotjar we do! Or at least we try to.
We're not perfect, but we aspire to deliver on our Core Values every day. In doing so we sometimes make mistakes, but the freedom to make and learn from mistakes is also part of our values. In order to ensure our values maintain their relevance we've embedded them in nearly everything we do. They are used in hiring new team members and promoting existing ones. They guide how we provide customer support and perform marketing. Most importantly, our values are leveraged when we're making key business decisions. This might sound like an obvious way to run a business, but in my experience, not enough companies operate this way.
The values themselves are not what makes Hotjar special, it's simply that we rely on them to run the business. We reflect and execute on them. They bring consistency and resiliency into how we grow as a company, which is super important given our team is distributed across 33 different countries and growing. If you want to hear more about our culture from other team members, be sure to check out our Glassdoor profile."
–Ken Weary, VP of Operations
A wider reach to a bigger audience
Over the years, we have built a great brand that resonates with a large audience, but we believe there is a lot of opportunity to increase our impact by reaching out to an even bigger audience. By investing in brand marketing, content production, and new channels, we believe we can help millions of new customers build empathy with their users and deliver better experiences. Here's some more information on expanding our reach, from Sharon Biggar, our VP of Marketing:
“At Hotjar we believe in a world where all businesses treat you with love. It's a lofty, almost philosophical vision, but an important one, as it puts people at the heart of everything we do.
We often hear users say that they love our product. That's great! But that's just the beginning. Too many product teams don't even know that Hotjar exists, and without Product Experience Insights it is much harder for those businesses to understand, empathise, and make the features that their users need. To overcome that problem, over the last six months we´ve built a dedicated Brand team to raise awareness that Hotjar is here to help. We´ve doubled the size of our Performance and Customer Marketing teams so that they can focus on listening and sharing the best practises for Product teams who want to prioritize brilliantly. We're expanding our sales and support teams and created a Success team, all to ensure that our customers get up and running with insights about their end-users as quickly as possible.
Today's consumers demand flawless product experiences. We have a long way to go until all digital experiences are 'loved', but we are motivated, energized, and excited to work towards that goal, one empathy-inspired, product feature change at a time!”
–Sharon Biggar, VP of Marketing
Hotjar's Giving Back fund, the community, and our planet
In the summer of 2017, we announced to our team that we would pledge 1% of our revenue (not profit) to ‘giving back’. Over the years, we have used this Giving Back fund to support causes such as fighting racism and injustice, supporting LGBTQI+ organizations, and initiatives to fight the climate crisis. Last year we decided to focus more on fighting for climate justice, and to dedicate the vast majority of the Giving Back fund to this cause. (We'll share more details in the coming weeks.)
Finally, I would just like to say that I am very excited about the future and the opportunity to write the next chapters of the Hotjar story. –Mohannad Ali, Hotjar CEO
Mohannad Ali is the CEO of Hotjar, the Product Experience Insights software of choice for small and medium businesses. He brings a decade of leadership experience to the company—before joining Hotjar in 2019, he was VP of Engineering at HelloFresh, and at Hotjar, Mohannad initially held the roles of VP and subsequently Chief Product and Technology Officer.
Behind the scenes
The secret ingredient of successful leadership
Business books on leadership often cite certain qualities that make a great leader, such as discipline, focus, determination, and perseverance. It feels like the stories of “great” leaders start with waking up at 5am, plunging into ice baths, or wearing the same style of outfit every day.
But in my experience, great leadership is not only about your daily routine but also about your willingness to connect with your team on a human level. In other words, to be vulnerable.
Behind the scenes
We need to talk about mental health at work—full stop
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the tasks you have to complete, your jam-packed calendar or a looming deadline that you can’t seem to start—or that feeling like you can’t possibly do it all?
Who hasn’t, right?
Behind the scenes
Building in Public 4: your burning questions answered – a Q&A with Megan Murphy
A few weeks ago, we put Megan Murphy, the VP of Product at Hotjar, on the spot to answer our users’ burning questions.
In these two videos, Megan covers everything from how to get strategy buy-in to handling loud voices in meetings to whether she’d abandon everything to open a bar on the beach.
So, despite it not being in our usual format for our Building in Public video series, whether you’re an experienced Product Manager or looking to start your product career, there’s something in here for you.