Houseplans Announces New President and CEO Tech entrepreneur James Roche now leads
residential-architecture plan Web site
Novato, CA (May 22, 2013) – Houseplans LLC today announced that technology entrepreneur James Roche has been tapped as the company's new President and CEO, effective in September 2012. Among other responsibilities, Roche is steering the growth of Houseplans.com, the company’s flagship online property that features a searchable database of nearly 40,000 home blueprints, including exclusive designs from some of the world’s most renowned architects. According to Roche, his Houseplans efforts will focus on ensuring the company delivers on its mission to improve the quality of residential design by making architecture more affordable.
"I began my professional life in the residential building industry, so joining Houseplans is like a happy homecoming for me," said Roche, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Yale University in 1988 and held a variety of building-related positions before embarking on a successful Silicon Valley tech career. "It's really a dream to be able to merge my passion for architecture with my enthusiasm for technological innovation."
The changes Roche said the company will roll out include making Houseplans more intelligent about the particular user visiting it, ensuring content is immediately surfaced that maps to that user’s interests and preferences. "Our overriding commitment at Houseplans is mitigating the obstacles – cost, time or design education – that keep current and prospective homeowners from integrating great architecture into their residences," said Roche. "I'm excited to help bring this commitment to life for the people who visit and purchase from our site, and for the architects and designers who make their plans and services available there."
Houseplans Owner and Chairman Stephen Williamson had been acting as CEO before Roche's appointment. Williamson continues to serve as company Chairman. Prior to joining Houseplans, Roche and his brother Matthew created BO.LT, a social marketing software company, and Offermatica, which produced software used by Walmart, Disney and many others to build better websites. They sold Offermatica to Omniture, which is now part of Adobe.
In 1995, James and Matthew launched Webfactory, a company that built retail websites for companies including JCrew, Martha Stewart, Smith & Hawken and Nike.
Roche will work from the Houseplans Petaluma, California headquarters.
Founded in 2004, Houseplans is the largest online database of ready-made house blueprints. Thousands of homes have been built, remodeled or renovated using plans from Houseplans. Top architects and designers from around the world continually submit new plans to Houseplans and millions of people visit the site every year to browse kitchen and bath designs, start renovations or find the blueprint for their dream home.