Quick summary: Our Co-founder & COO, Ana Aires, has exited the business. WidgiLabs has now transitioned to what we are calling “WidgiLabs 2.0”, the new structure and team put in place to continue with our mission:

“To be a great company, with great people, great results and great rewards.”

This week we’re completing the transition and decided to share some of the lessons and strategy we have used. Overall we’re very grateful for a terrific growth period for the company and are excited with the road ahead.

Transition Strategy

Overall the strategy for the transition was:

  1. Identify core competencies and responsibilities held by the partner and COO;
  2. Access how to distribute those responsibilities by new and existing roles;
  3. Recruit or promote for the identified roles;
  4. Work with external coach and team to solve issues;

Mapping out what responsibilities Ana had as COO allowed us to have a better understanding of how we need to adapt in order to cope with the change ahead. 

As a partner she was in charge of several things across the business. As COO she was in charge of our operations, as an engineer she participated in specific projects with code development and project management. So in order to distribute her responsibilities we identified 3 different roles: 

  • team leader / engineering manager
  • project manager
  • backend developer 

An agency partner does a lot of stuff as you can see! Once we stared at this reality we started considering who to hire.

An important lesson we learned in the process is that before looking externally for someone to fill in a new role you should always first look internally and evaluate if you don’t have a team member that can be the right person for the new seat. 

In our case it was clear that Marco Peralta had the right profile to grow into becoming our new team leader / engineering manager so we decided to move forward and invite him.

After evaluation Marco Peralta accepted the offer and we were very happy with the decision. At the same time we also started recruiting the project manager and the backend developer.

The whole transition was planned together with an external coach that was key for the needed accountability and commitment to carry on the transition in due time.


After the first few sessions with the coach we were able to reframe the whole transition as mainly a recruiting challenge. That helped us gain inner confidence and peace and approach the whole thing differently. Recruiting was still hard and continues to be since sourcing, interviewing and selecting team members is always an art but it definitely helped. 

Our CEO reports: “The most difficult part for me has been to communicate to our clients this change as it relates to personal reasons that involve me and my wife/partner. I was embarrassed and afraid of sharing the decision. I didn’t want our clients to get involved in something that seemed way more personal than professional. But things are so entangled when you do ‘entrepreneurship as a couple’ that the distinction is hard to tell. To my surprise everyone took it really well and understood the decision from the start. I felt supported by the team and clients and I’m very grateful to them. I’m also extremely grateful to Ana for the journey together at WidgiLabs. We built the agency from scratch, got incredible clients that we are proud of every day and challenges that made us grow tremendously. It also allowed us to meet a lot of interesting people and make amazing friends within the WordPress community.”

Where we are going

We are focusing in eCommerce businesses that want to scale-up and so we’ll be working with more CEOs, Founders and Marketing Directors in eCommerce who want to build ongoing long term relationships and maintain their webshops, in Portugal and across Europe, and want to work with experts who understand them and help them strategically.

We bring 3 uniques to this market:

  • High traffic experience
  • We’re a strategic partner for custom builds & more
  • We bring a personal service with empathy
Our proven process for eCommerce

Final thoughts

Many thanks to all our team members, clients, partners, vendors and friends! We look forward to seeing you all again and spending some good moments together.

We’ll continue to focus on creating a great work culture where we learn, grow, connect and develop great things.

Thanks for reading!