Who is the CEO of Portent? aka: Yep, I’m back

Ian Lurie Jul 18 2014

Shortest. Career change. Ever.

It’s me, Ian! I’m back as CEO of Portent after six months as Chairman and Principal Consultant. I’m damned happy about it, too. Here’s why:

  1. We hit our goals. Steve came on board to get our business house in order. Frankly, I suck at that. Steve is great at it. He got it done. At that point, he could see Portent needed me back in the job, doing what I love.
  2. The bear left. I’ve said that running an agency is like wrestling with a s–t covered bear. I got some time to wash the stink off. After 19 years, I needed that. In another 19, I’ll need it again.
  3. Job reboot. A founder CEO can really suffer from job creep. I was CEO, client troubleshooter, head SEO, head writer, head strategist, executive team… It was just bad. With time away I was able to ‘reboot.’ It was like moving to a new town as a teenager. I left all of the bad habits behind. I’m ready to create new ones!
  4. A fantastic leadership team. Portent’s strong leadership team has gotten even better. I can absolutely rely on them. No more job creep for me.
  5. Job clarity. I reread The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive. Oooohhh. So that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Well, since I rebooted, I can start off right.
  6. Impostor syndrome in remission. I realized I may actually know what I’m doing. It’s amazing how much a few days of feeling competent can motivate a guy.

My job, this time around

So I’m back as CEO. But it’s different. This time, my job is:

  1. Mad Prophet of Portent Culture, which you can read about here
  2. Speaking and writing, like always. I’m an addict.
  3. Staying in the clouds and dirt. Gary Vaynerchuk can explain.
  4. Helping the entire team focus on the same ‘Portent-ness’ that’s gotten us this far.

This seems to be the right job description: My second tenure as CEO has so far been flawless. 2-3 weeks without a world-crushing blunder, or making someone cry, or curling up under my desk in a ball. Nice!

Seriously, I’m excited. We’ve got a lot of great stuff going on. I’m back in the corner office, being deliberate about defining my job.

And I like the view from here just fine.




  1. Alan Bleiweiss

    Alan Bleiweiss

    Courage. Honesty. Willingness. Passion. Humility. Vision.

    Ian, you are a great leader and its awesomt to see how you have walked through this process. Portent is in excellent hands.

    • Thanks, Alan. I appreciate it.

  2. Mad Prophet of Portent culture? I get a bit of a Rand Fishkin vibe here… :)

    Anyway, best of luck!

  3. Joy


    Ian – MS is ripping off your photo for today’s Bing image. They must be big fans of you OR this stock photo is too popular….

    • OK that’s funny. It’s a stock photo I’ve used for a long time.

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