It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to Marieke van de Rakt, who has decided to leave Yoast. Everyone at Newfold Digital and Yoast will miss her dearly, and we want to thank her for all the wonderful things she has done over the years. She’s played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s vision, growth and success.

Now, she has ambitious plans to help other organizations, to champion diversity and sustainability, and to continue to change the world for the better. So, let’s take a look at just a few of the things she’s accomplished in her time here.

Marieke’s life at Yoast

As you may know, Marieke has been a core part of Yoast since the beginning. She’s been instrumental in so many different areas of the company, and across so many roles, that it’s hard to summarize without leaving things out!

She founded the Yoast SEO academy, championed a positive and inclusive company culture, driven our marketing and branding efforts, and led the company as CEO. We can’t understate how much of an impact she’s had on the company and the brand, and how much of a lasting effect that will continue to have.

​Yoast SEO academy

In 2015, Marieke had a vision to empower others through knowledge, leading to her founding the Yoast SEO academy; a free source of accessible and reliable SEO education. Now, hundreds of thousands of people all around the world have completed courses, improved their SEO skills, and grown their audiences as a result.

Championing a positive company culture

Marieke always felt that it’s important for employees to enjoy their work, feel appreciated, and contribute meaningfully. Our core company values still reflect that, even as Yoast has grown and become a larger and more complex organization. She was often the person driving us forward and thinking ahead when it came to our culture, and has always been a strong advocate for a positive and inclusive company culture. She’s closed gender pay gaps, increased our diversity, and championed our people.

The brand

Yoast is one of the most well-known and loved brands in the industry, and Marieke’s influence can be felt here, too. She’s played a key part in defining and championing our look and feel, messaging, communication, and brand vision. That Yoast employees are universally recognized, respected, and influential all around the world is a level of status that she played a huge part in us creating and maintaining.

Life as a CEO

As the CEO, Marieke was responsible for the overall strategic direction, day-to-day management, and operational success of the company. With her vast understanding of the market, industry trends, users and community, she enabled Yoast to remain at the forefront of the competitive SEO landscape. Yoast’s successful acquisition by Newfold Digital in 2021 was completed under her purview.

Marieke really has done a lot for Yoast over the years, and I would encourage you to have a look at our history of Yoast page to see the full extent of the legacy she is leaving behind. 

Future for Marieke

If you know Marieke, then you know that she will not be sitting still! She has many projects that she is looking forward to spending more time on. She’ll be investing in open source, sustainable and female-led companies through Emilia Capital, and helping organizations to address gender imbalances and workplace inequality with her Empowerwoment Project.

We wish her the best of luck with these undertakings and will be cheering her on from the sidelines.

The future of Yoast

Yoast is still in an incredibly strong position, with a strong leadership team, product, and roadmap. Whilst we’ll be sad to see Marieke leaving, it’s a positive reflection on the stability of the company and brand that she’s able to do so safely and happily. Marieke has spent the last few months working with our teams, ensuring that her wisdom and vision is passed on successfully. She’ll be leaving her legacy and responsibilities in capable hands.

We also have the full support of our parent organization, Newfold Digital, who’ll be helping us as we move into a new chapter at Yoast.

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