Meet the New Boss

by Ryan Smith on August 30, 2014 7:01 PM EST

Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.

If you had told me 15 years ago that I would one day be the Editor in Chief for AnandTech, there’s a very good chance I would have called you crazy. Having read AnandTech since 1998, it seemed obvious to me at the time that I could never know enough to match wits with Anand. Even in the early days of the site Anand brought a high degree of skill and thoughtfulness that few people could ever match, a quality that kept me reading the site for so many years.

Consequently, to be here writing my first comments as Editor in Chief borders on the surreal. Having read AnandTech for 15 years and having worked for Anand for almost 10 of those years, it was until recently hard to imagine reading AnandTech and not seeing articles by Anand, or to be writing for AnandTech but not be writing for Anand himself. Anand has been a constant in the tech world both as a source of news an analysis for us all, and as a mentor to me. These days I can happily say I was wrong about not being able to match wits with The Boss, and now I am going to get to put that to the test.

AnandTech has been Anand’s baby since Anand practically was a baby, having built it up from the ground in the last 17 years and spanning countless generations of technology not to mention the economic booms and busts that come with it. Words cannot express how humbling it is to be asked to be the next Editor in Chief – to be the first person that Anand trusts and believes in to run AnandTech and keep his baby going. It’s an awesome privilege and an awesome responsibility, and it is a task that I aim to do as well as The Boss himself.

When it comes to taking on the duties as Editor in Chief, I suppose it’s the fact that Anand and I are cut from the same cloth that even makes this transition possible. While I wasn’t born to teachers, writing for AnandTech has been a job I have loved for nearly a decade because I love learning just as Anand does. And though it’s a gross simplification of the job, being a journalist for AnandTech ultimately means learning about technology and sharing what we have learned with the rest of the world, which is the ideal job for anyone who loves learning. What this means is that although we’re not interchangeable – I am probably a bit more excitable than Anand – it means that the same force that drives us both, and it’s that same love of learning that will continue to shape AnandTech.

To our readers, we wouldn’t exist without you, and it is my first and foremost goal to continue driving AnandTech to bring the kind of high quality content that you come here for. That content comes from passion, skill, and taking the time and care to do things right, and these are core values that will not be changing. At the same time the editors working for us are among the best, and I know that they will continue writing fantastic articles across the broad range of technologies we cover. AnandTech may no longer have Anand, but it will have the same quality content that it has always had.

To our editors, what little is there to say about you that Anand has not? An Editor in Chief is only as good as the people working under him, and it is the fact that I have you that makes me confident that I can take on this role and fill Anand’s big shoes. You deserve nothing less than the best leadership, and to you I vow to do as well for you as Anand has done over the last 17 years.

And to Anand, it has been an honor working for you for the last decade. To say that I have learned everything I know from you is only the slightest exaggeration – so much of what I know about both technology and journalism comes from what I have learned from you over the years. To be the new Editor in Chief is incredibly humbling, and I intend to prove that AnandTech is still in good hands.

For 17.5 years now the path of AnandTech and the path of Anand have been one and the same. And though that is no longer the case as Anand retires, it is my sincere goal that the next 17.5 years will continue down the same path that Anand has set. And that is to create and curate the kind of high quality content that enlightens and informs all those who wish to learn about technology.

Ryan Smith

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  • Streamlined - Sunday, August 31, 2014 - link

    If Anand isn't part of the site you really should change the name of the site. Probably in a few months.
  • finnmich - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Good luck Ryan!
  • mazz7 - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Congrats Ryan, Anand will be missed, but now it's in your hands now to keep the core value of Anandtech, Friendly and Details Tech site :) will keep an eye for the new Anandtech here :)
  • Klug4Pres - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Good luck in your new role, Ryan.

    I think it would be great if you could do a few podcasts, with other members of the team, to set out your stall, so to speak. It seems to have worked pretty well for Anand and Brian Klug, but I for one found other contributors to be worth listening to also.
  • Klug4Pres - Saturday, September 6, 2014 - link

    I saw you tweeted that you would not be doing podcasts, because you were worried about who would carry the show.

    I think these concerns are overdone. Brian and Anand were not untouchably brilliant, and anyway the point is not to outdo them, but just to comment on tech stuff du jour. I know you guys can manage that. Don't be shy!
  • Coup27 - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Hi Ryan,

    I do not mean to cause a stir here but now it's all over the web that Anand (and Brian) have joined Apple, where does Anandtech stand on the impartiality of their reviews on Apple products, presuming that Anand will still own Anandtech even though he isn't writing for it?

    I think it would have been much better had this information been published here first and not from fellow tech sites. It would have given an opportunity to lay any fears of this to bed before any of it surfaced. This site, rightly or wrongly, has been accused of Apple bias for years and all of this will certainly not help that cause.
  • Communism - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Given that Dustin Sklavos traded up for Corsair, Brian Klug and Anand have traded up for Apple, it's far more likely that the psychological interplay between the writers will be even less critical of manufacturers in hopes of duplicating their success.

    We've already seen this happening since at least 2012.

    Wonder who'll trade up next.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, September 4, 2014 - link

    Hi Coup;

    First off sorry for not being able to answer this right away. This is a fair and valid question, however I had been traveling to and from NYC, so I haven't had a chance to sit down and give it a proper response until now.

    The short answer is that I have complete and absolute control over the site. Anand does not have any control or any influence to direct things (though we may consult him on business as necessary), and in fact he doesn't even have access to the CMS anymore. For better and worse it is my site to improve or my site to diminish, as the case may be.

    More practically speaking, I love my job. To break AT's history of impartiality is not doing you guys a favor but it's not doing me a favor either. Our reviews work because we are impartial, so if we were to sacrifice that then there would be no reason for you to read this site and I would be out of a job.

    And I would note that Anand isn't the first person to get hired by tech company. We go through a lot of effort to find exceptional people to write for us, and for the same reasons we value those writers they do get poached from us at times. We have ex-writers at AMD, Asus, Corsair, among other companies. None of which have received any special favor over the years, nor will Apple. They will get all the praise they deserve when they create a good product, and all the criticism they deserve when they put out a poor product.

    I hope that sufficiently answers your question. Otherwise I can go into more detail.

    Ryan Smith
  • Spunjji - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Congratulations, and good luck!
  • mmantho - Monday, September 1, 2014 - link

    Good luck Ryan, you have huge shoes to fill.

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