Principals of Management 2011
Buckmaster, at 6ft 7in tall, does not blend into the background anytime, nor as CEO of a site that is the 11th most popular site in the United States. Yet the chief executive of the world's biggest classified listings website has a reputation for elusiveness. Interviews are rare and finding information and history on this CEO proved to be a bit of a challenge. November will mark his 11th year in charge of Craigslist often blamed in the minds of many for expediting the demise of local newspapers by destroying the print classified advertising market. I think it is notable that Jim Buckmaster is the second-longest serving Silicon Valley CEO after Jeff Bezos of Amazon another interesting CEO. Mr. Buckmaster was born 14 August 1962, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has never been married and has no children. His education is not the typical of most CEOs. He studied Biochemistry at Virginia Tech, then the classics at Michigan University. He dropped out of medical school, then learned programming in his spare time. His career is not typical either nor is it extensive. Buckmaster dropped out of medical school at the University of Michigan in 1986. He hung around the university for 10 years, studying the classics, doing data entry work, and teaching himself programming. By 1999, he was working as a webmaster in San Francisco for a dotcom called Creditland, where he was not happy. He posted his résumé on craigslist, and Newmark (the founder of Craigslist) found it. Once he began working at Craigslist, Buckmaster says He looked around and began finding things to do. He wrote forum software to give users a chance to interact. When he realized that every post had to be reviewed and published by hand, he created the automated process that allowed craigslist to grow. He coded a search engine. A year after he arrived he was CEO. There was no competition for the job, no ritual transfer of...