Anthony Bucci Steps Aside as CEO of RevZilla

12/16/2016 @ 5:58 pm, by Jensen Beeler22 COMMENTS

You know him as “Hey it’s Anthony from RevZilla!” in the online motorcycle store’s popular videos on YouTube, but Anthony Bucci is also the CEO and Co-Founder of RevZilla, and is part of the reason why the nerds are taking over the motorcycle industry.

Today, RevZilla announced the departure of Bucci as its CEO, effective on January 13, 2017. After that point in time,  fellow RevZilla Co-Founder Matt Kull will take on the job as interim CEO, while RevZilla continues to look for a full-time replacement.

RevZillians shouldn’t worry too much about the leadership change though, as Bucci will continue his customer-facing activities with RevZilla, and he will also remain an integral part of RevZilla’s advisory team.

This announcement also doesn’t affect Bucci’s position on the Board of Directors for Comoto, the holding company that oversees both RevZilla and Cycle Gear.

This move though does come at an interesting time for RevZilla, which just earlier this year came together with Cycle Gear, under the Comoto holding company, that is partially owned by the RevZilla founding team and  private equity firm J.W. Childs.

Talking to Bucci about his departure as leader of the ZLA Army, he said “I was looking at what we needed for the next leap forward – you know phenomenal run, proud of the foundation we’ve built, all the things we’ve done – but really looking at my playbook, the next steps, and what more we needed.”

“So, ultimately I said ‘can I have a different capacity in the business that’s still high-impact and protects the thing that we love, but also allows us to continue to scale?'”

“It’s one of those natural business life cycle types of moves. It’s been over nine years for me, so I made a personal choice, but collectively we have a good plan in place that we’re going to rock and roll with it,” explained Bucci.

That might sound like a bunch of business double-speak, but in truth this is a common stage in any startup’s life (as Bucci points out), where there is a leadership evolution that comes from the founding team being replaced by seasoned veterans.

This takes many forms, but in well-operated transitions, it usually means that the founding team is then freed up to go back and innovate within the company, and take on more hyper-focused roles and projects while “the suits” continue to count the beans and keep the gears moving.

RevZilla Co-Founder, and soon-to-be interim CEO Matthew Kull explained to us that a lot of RevZilla’s success has come from the high cadence of work that Bucci has brought to the company, and that the company will have to look carefully for his replacement.

“Anthony has been doing seven days a week for a long time, but brute force stops working at some point. So, maybe there is someone that has a different level of experience that can do this with a different level of finesse, which leaves Anthony to focus on all the pieces he is great at: strategy at the board level, the product, and on the media side. Anthony has been wearing a lot of hats for a long time.

In order to grow and keep momentum, RevZilla is seeking another high-energy leader, who can compliment the founding team, and take some of the heavy-lifting off their shoulders when it comes to running the business operations.

“We are looking for someone who has entrepreneurial blood, who gets us from a culture perspective, who understands what has made this business successful and what got it to where it is at…but also someone who is not going to come in and re-invent the wheel,” explained Kull.

“…native digital, understands enthusiasts, understands scaling a business from 200+ people,” added Bucci. “I wish I was the guy to push it all the way, but right now, it is a moment to exhale and to think about building stability for the next 50 years of this brand.”

With common ownership now with the largest brick and mortar entity in the US motorcycle space, the coming years will certainly be interesting for the RevZilla crew. It will also be interesting to see what Bucci and his team come up with next, and how RevZilla’s new leader executes that plan.

In the meantime, we are going to send-off Bucci in the only way we know how. So, here is an animated GIF of RevZilla’s fearless leader, made from random frames of a YouTube video introduction. 

Source: RevZilla

  • durandal1

    “RevZillians shouldn’t worry too much about the leadership change though, as Bucci will continue his customer-facing activities with RevZilla, and he will also remain an integral part of RevZilla’s advisory team.”

    This is what every company that removes their visionary founder-CEO want you to believe. Customer experience is something distilled from the top of the company, throughout the executive layers. So in practice, culture almost always changes when the founder CEO leaves, and usually not for the better. I forecast Anthony leaving within 3 years out of frustration as he is unable to execute his vision for customer experience under the new leadership. I hope it turns out great though, Revzilla is one of those companies you hope will never change.

  • Jason Channell

    Agreed. Revzilla was in company culture trouble as soon as the merged/sold/whatever with the CycleGear folks. This will only double down on that issue.

  • Eric

    I wish Anthony great success in the future, and hope that the new CEO doesn’t screw things up. Revzilla is the only gear company that really gets how to work in the digital world, with really useful product description videos, fantastic selection, top-notch customer service, and one of the best blogs in the business; one that doesn’t just have you going there when you need something. Instead, by constantly showing great content, their blog drives loyalty, which keeps the brand “top of mind” when the time DOES come for that new helmet, etc. Genius.

  • drivin98

    Why, though?

  • Bob K

    I wonder if they made him a deal to step aside and he’s positioning himself in something new because he knows things WILL change.

    I sure hope nothing changes. I buy the best of what I can afford, like Rukka, and Revzilla is the best place to do it. Great prices, great selection, great knowledge and great service, even to those of us who live far away. I even pop in every time I visit my family in Mayfair. Worth every minute travelling across Philly and I usually have to buy an extra suitcase for the flight home. Please don’t let anything change.

  • Anthony was pretty clear that this was his decision. I wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up in the comments and said as much himself.

  • If the guys and gals at RevZilla are so good, you would think that they’d find the right CEO for the job, right?

  • P Banks

    The pattern is typical when a “merger”, or “coming together” happens where the CEO stays for a courtesy 12 months to keep the natives from getting restless. Then after the 12 months they become an advisor, consultant, whatever and a non-competition clause comes into play.

    I cringe every time I walk into a Cycle Gear store. My god, it’s usually in some run down and dated shopping center, fluorescent lights and cheap gear littering the place. One can’t help but to think that the stench of CG will diminish or even destroy the Revzilla brand. CG has no passion for the actual business, they run it like a TJ Maxx or Ross and the only reason they bought Revzilla was to get them the hell out of their way.

  • The Blue Rider

    Anthony’s move makes sense to this consumer: “…which leaves Anthony to focus on all the pieces he is great at: strategy at the board level, the product, and on the media side. Anthony has been wearing a lot of hats for a long time.” That says it all.

    As long as we keep hearing “HEY this is Anthony from Revzilla where you can WATCH DECIDE and RIDE!” I know we’ll all be OK…

  • durandal1

    Just wait until the new CEO decides to capitalize on Anthony’s street cred and sells his “reviews” to the highest bidder, or for a little better markup to keep the investors happy.

  • durandal1

    To be fair they were never reviews, more a product exposé

  • Brian Fistler

    Just hoping Revzilla stays far enough distanced from cycle gear. Cycle gears web site has gotten horrible since the merger, everything Revzilla sells shows up, and your have no way of knowing what a brick and mortar will actually have in stock vs only available online. I don’t want to see Joe Rocket, Scorpion, Schuberth, etc on the web page and think CG actually carries these brands, only to show up at a store and discover that 90% of the inventory is “store brand” stuff and find out that CG had NEVER had these brands in store… They need to explicitly state of an item is online only, with a LARGE and OBVIOUS statement.
    I just hope Revzilla isn’t put under control of someone like who ever is managing CG.

  • Bryan Ohlsson

    Mergers like this always end poorly. You take a low budget organization like CG, which buys off the owners or founder of a good company and in the end it is just about a costumer list. I am sure there are legal agreements in this purchase deal, which require the founders to hang around for a given time for being removed completely.

    I have never purchased anything from CG, but I am sure getting their mailers now. Wonder how that happen? RevZ’s owners and founders have made a killing from this sale to CG and to me honest, I think they are laughing all the way to the bank.

    This was a business deal plan and simple. CG knows the will be a percentage of the customers, that will leave. But, they also know there is a percentage, which will stay. It is all about the numbers people and the RevZ you know now, will be completely different within 2 years.

    Wonder who will create the next motorcycle online sensation?

  • durandal1

    This is true, and you can make a good argument that a company can only ever exist to maximize shareholder value, or it won’t exist at all at after some time. That doesn’t mean the existing customers “shouldn’t worry” (which was the key part of my quote) – Revzilla might move on to perform better in every financial key metric – that doesn’t mean old time customers will recognize its new face.

  • Dustin Nisbet-Jones

    Definitely not reviews. While very useful and informative, the Revzilla videos are promotional material designed to sell that product.

  • Alclab

    Here’s hoping they keep the same philosophy, energy, humor and quality. Also hoping Anthony can deliver the next big Moto thing in the future.

    Could it be that Lemmy is going to be the new CEO!? ;P

  • Jorge

    Everyone sells out, Ben and Jerry’s, Bert’s bees, Breitling (maybe), BMW automobiles, (let’s hope their motorcycles don’t follow). RevZilla is no different. Hard work led to a nice payday but those of us involved with mergers know what this is all about. Was nice while it lasted.

  • Frank Lord

    Anybody who’s gone through mergers and acquisitions will tell you, what Anthony is quoted as saying has been copy and pasted from a million other press releases when the founder is pushed aside. That this didn’t happen at the time of the CG buy out was simply window dressing to cater to the Zilla faithful. You can take the eager journalist optimist approach all you want, but the transparency of what’s happened at Revzilla is obvious to people who are familiar with the buy out process. Pretending it’s some sort of calculated strategic brilliance is ignorant and naive.

  • winger

    Selecting a CEO isn’t really up to the guys and gals of RevZilla is it

  • Lemmy
  • Alclab

    You’ve had my vote at “Hey it’s Lemmy from Revzilla” ;)

  • Rob Bayless

    Only way to replace Anthony in the videos, is to replace him with a really cool woman. I just don’t see another guy pulling it off.