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Pinterest Improving User Experience To Help People ‘Take More Action’ On Boards, New CEO Bill Ready Says

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Pinterest

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Pinterest Inc (NYSE:PINS) Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Ben Silbermann and Pinterest CEO Bill Ready on CNBC’s “Mad Money” (M-F, 6PM-7PM ET) today, Wednesday, June 29th. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com:

Pinterest Improving User Experience To Help People ‘Take More Action’ On Boards, New CEO Bill Ready Says

JIM CRAMER: Crushed with all things growth. But yesterday, Pinterest announced something big. Their Chairman and CEO is stepping back to become Executive Chairperson, while bringing in a new CEO, a financial tech veteran Bill Ready. Hey, by the way, this guy is coming from Google and he was in charge of commerce and payments. Wow. Now I think this makes a lot of sense. Right now, Pinterest makes the bulk of its money from digital advertising. They want to pivot to become something more of a shopping platform because this is a site where people go to find stuff that they might want to buy. This is a difficult market doing something like Pinterest, but I’m liking this pivot. So let’s take a closer look with Ben Silbermann. He’s the co-Founder, Executive Chairman of Pinterest, whom we met at his office too long ago. And Bill Ready, he’s the new CEO. Gentlemen, welcome to “Mad Money.”


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BEN SILBERMANN: Thanks for having us, Jim.

BILL READY: Thank you, Jim.

CRAMER: Okay, so I got to ask you Ben. I knew you love your job. And when I saw it, it was so much fun. And it was just pure joy to go to your offices. You’re making just huge sales, 2.5 billion. Now it’s gonna be nearly 3 billion, it’s profitable. Is this really the time to leave as CEO?

SILBERMANN: Well first, Jim, thanks again for having us. Look, I love Pinterest. I’ve love, I’ve loved running it. And I’m really excited today about having Bill step in as our new CEO. I think that he’s got a ton of qualifications that are really going to help us accelerate the momentum we already have and go, as you said, from a place where people get inspired to a place where they can get inspired and take action and buy the things. So I’m really excited about it and I’m excited to stay involved in a new role as Executive Chair.

CRAMER: Well, I’ll tell you it’s funny. I know about Pinterest from my kids, from my wife. I mean everybody knows it, that’s what you do. So I’m gonna tell you Bill and put you on the spot here. I was told, I was going, texting with my daughter today who went to Parsons. She’s a baker, okay. I said, “What do you think of Pinterest?” She said, “Oh, you know, I love my mood boards, whether it be for decorating my house or planning my wedding, planning a wedding or finding inspiration for next year.” So I said, “Have you ever bought anything on Pinterest?” And she says, “Hell no.” I mean, almost as if, don’t you realize Dad you don’t buy things on Pinterest? Yet all those categories are fantastic categories to press a button and buy something, can that change?

READY: Yes. Thank you, Jim. It is a great question. And I think Pinterest is a really uniquely positioned platform and I think it’s uniquely positioned because it has tremendous inspiration and discovery on the platform as you were just mentioning and across a number of different categories, but also has high intent. So people are there for a purpose. They’re not discovering these things on accident while they’re doing something else. They’re actually there for that purpose. So it’s both an inspiration discovery and intent. And as Ben was just describing, there’s a lot we can do to help them take more action on that intent whether that action is making or doing or in some cases buying. And there’s a variety of ways that we can do that. That may not necessarily entail even a buy button all the time, but how do you get more closely connected to a place where you can take action? And so I think there’s tremendous potential to help people do more on the platform and do it in a positive engaging way that again, I think, is quite unique for for Pinterest as a platform.

CRAMER: Well, Bill, let me just follow up on that. Would a mood board be cheapened in any way by something that people would buy? I mean, that people I know now because I’ve researched this mood board concept, they kind of liked the fact that it’s not for buying so to speak.

READY: Well, I think it’s a great point that, you know, it’s a, it’s a forum that people love engaging with and I think the thing that we have to make sure we do is make sure that we make it easy for people to take action when and how they want to take action. And I think that is something that, you know, Ben and I’ve talked about this a lot. I think he’s heard it from Pinterest users for years that they want to be able to take action on these things. I’ve used Pinterest for designing a home, for planning birthday parties, and these are all things where you get great ideas and you don’t want necessarily sort of buying to be shoved in your face, but when you see something that you want to take action on, you want to be able to go get to the way that you’re going to do that. And I think again, that’s a unique thing that Pinterest has is both the inspiration, the discovery and the intent in one platform and we got to mix in more ability to take action.

CRAMER: I totally agree now Ben, let me ask you just in terms of philosophically, I regard you as a total inspiration. I mean you came from Nebraska you come out well, you do this thing, everybody loves it. You had at one point 478 million people and now you have 431 million people, only on Wall Street would a decline from 478 to 431 million be regarded as something suboptimal. 430 million is just a huge congratulations Ben. But I’ve got to ask you, is Wall Street, did Wall Street make your job tiresome?

SILBERMANN: Well Jim I mean, we care a lot about all of our investors and so it’s one key stakeholder. But the thing I wake up doing every day, the thing that Bill and I talked a lot about when we talked about taking this role is how do we just make an amazing experience for consumers? And I’m really excited, you know, the company’s got great pipeline of new products that are coming out from our investors and creators to some of the shopping things that Bill talked about. We just acquired THE YES, which is a fantastic startup, which will speed things up. And also I think that we’re in a really good position. You know, we more than doubled revenue since the beginning of the pandemic. Last year, we were profitable. And so I’m excited to take those resources and invest them to an even better product. And I think that’ll make everyone, starting with the users but including the investors, really excited over time.

CRAMER: But let me ask you though, in your last letter, you know, I love your letters. You wrote in Q1 of 2022, we didn’t experience year over year engagement declines, primarily due to pandemic influence growth the year ago quarter. Everybody gets that. But then, as well as lower search traffic largely driven by Google’s algorithm change in November 2021, you are sitting with the person who may have been involved with that algorithm change. How have you guys hashed that out together?

SILBERMANN: Well, you know, we haven’t been talking a lot about his last job. We’ve been talking a lot about his current job and what we’re doing going forward. And I just want to tell you, I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Bill and bring bring some of that experience and also, you know, some experience running global technology companies, driving innovation on behalf of customers at a really big scale so—

READY: And Jim, as you mentioned, I’ve had the privilege to have built and grown a number of great platforms. And when I look at Pinterest, I see something that I think is quite special and quite unique. You’ve got users coming to the platform for daily inspiration, looking for those things that they might not be finding other places and take shopping as an example, I think for the last 20 plus years of ecommerce, ecommerce is solving for a lot, a lot more for buying than for shopping. And so we think about how people have shopped in the real world, you know, forever and ever, a huge part of that was inspiration and discovery and there was a joyfulness to it and a delight to it that I don’t think has been solved for the digital world. And I think Pinterest has a great opportunity to bring that part of the equation that users are already coming to Pinterest for today and marry that up with more ability to take action and I think again that’s something that users have organic demand for that from the Pinterest platform. And as we bring in more and more of that, I think it’s always going to really resonate with with Pinterest users.

CRAMER: Let me ask, on my last question. I know that PayPal was interested, of course Bill worked with PayPal. I know that Microsoft was interested in those discussions never really went anywhere and I have to presume won’t now that you’re having that transition to Executive Chairman. Fair discussion, fair point.

READY: Yeah, so I’ll take that one, which is, you know, I’m coming to Pinterest because I think it has a great, a great potential for a long-term enduring company. And, you know, there’s gonna be lots of opportunities for how we can build the company. I think looking at the organic innovation inside the company, the way the company is leveraging, you know, not only build but buy and partner as well. You know, buying THE YES recently, partnering with Shopify and WooCommerce. So there’s a number of dimensions for how to grow the business. But I’m coming here because I think it has great prospects as a long-term enduring company and solving for something that is unique and isn’t fully solved for elsewhere and again, I’m voting with my feet to that I think it’s a fantastic place to be.

CRAMER: Excellent. Well look, I wish both of you luck. I love your company very, very much. You’ve always been great to “Mad Money.” I hope you feel that we’ve been fair to you. I want to I want to thank Ben Silbermann who just a hero of mine as I told you the day I met you and Bill Ready who is the new CEO of Pinterest. And remember Ben’s not going anywhere. He’s still gonna be Executive Chairman so we tend to see him again. “Mad Money” is back after the break. Thank you gentlemen.

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