Lew Ayotte

Engineering Manager with the unique skills to build and lead talented teams of engineers and launch successful products and features. Experienced leader and product manager with over two decades of history in this industry. Currently managing three engineering teams for consumer and business products with over one-million active installs. Clear communicator, decision maker, and solution architect.

Primary Skills

  • Technical Knowledge
  • Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Communication
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Time Management
  • Budget and Resource Management
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Risk Management

Liquid Web (acquired iThemes)

Engineer Manager

February 2018 – Present

  • Directed and motivated three engineering teams for products and operational infrastructure
  • Guided the development of open source products for WordPress customers with over 1 million active installs
  • Successfully developed and executed product roadmaps for new features, resulting in a significant increase in overall sales
  • Collaborated with marketing and support teams alongside other stakeholders to strategize and plan for the future of the iThemes’ products
  • Implemented a system of user interviews; driving feature development and resulting in increased sales across all products
  • Partnered with other engineering and product managers across the Liquid Web organization to build new initiatives and strategies
  • Established relationships with human resources and 3rd party recruiters to build and scale engineering teams from interviewing, to hiring, and on-boarding
  • Developed mentoring program for junior engineers to partner with senior engineers to help foster career growth and improve employee retention
  • Implemented a weekly “radically candor” system of 1-on-1 for direct reports
  • Researched and investigated million dollar acquisitions and partnerships to embolden product features and help grow the product’s brand
  • Launched highly available APIs consumed by millions of WordPress websites; using PHP, MySQL, and Go

Liquid Web / iThemes

Senior PHP Developer (WordPress Plugin and SAAS)

May 2013 – February 2018

  • Developer of iThemes Sync – A SAAS Platform and WordPress Plugin used by freelance developers; currently managing over 20 thousand sites
    • Developed internal and external APIs to increase efficiency and reduce cost
    • Integrated with 3rd party APIs, such as Google Analytics, Search Console, and Uptime Robot
    • Learned, maintained, and improved custom MVC code base
    • Engineered the plan to migrate code base to Laravel to relieve technical debt, reducing future development costs by tens of thousands of dollars
  • Developer of iThemes Exchange e-commerce plugin for WordPress – A user-friendly competitor to WooCommerce
    • Created over 13 add-ons to ensure customers had everything needed for a successful e-commerce websites
    • Launched payment products using third-party payment processing APIs, such as PayPal and Stripe and tax service APIs for VAT, Canadian, and U.S. Tax compliance
    • Built custom integrations with shipping service APIs for the 3 primary U.S. based shipping services (USPS, UPS, and Fedex)

DevOps Enteprenuer

February 2006 – Present

  • Developer of leenk.me, a premium SAAS platform for WordPress sites that integrates with the Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn remote APIs for social media broadcasting
  • Developer of LiveMarket, a hands-off, recurring revenue, live-ad platform for local and niche publishers. SAAS Application built using Laravel with a WordPress plugin interface.
  • Developer of PigeonPack, an email campaign manager for WordPress
  • Contributed to WordPress core bugs and patches (props layotte)
  • Created and contributed to many Open Source WordPress plugins
  • Managed client websites and hosting built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) implementing LEMP stacks using EC2 and RDS Instances, CloudFront CDN, and S3

Other Relevant Experience

University of Georgia

IT Senior Manager & Principal Linux Administrator

August 4, 2008 to April 26, 2013
Athens, GA

  • Managed teams of web developers, helpdesk technicians, and systems administrators
  • Chaired Website Redesign Committee, supporting 250 Faculty, 500 Staff, and over 4500 Students
  • Consulted on the development, security, and implementation of a College of Education Student Information System (required to meet FERPA and HIPAA regulations)
  • Coordinated strategic intra-university partnerships to give students and professors access to needed resources and save the university money
  • Collaborated on 5-Year Strategic Plan for the Office of Information Technology in concert with the Dean’s Office
  • Internet Security and UGA Network liaison for the College of Education
  • Developed and taught an 8-hour WordPress training course for the staff of the University of Georgia — broke up into four 2-hour sessions
  • Maintained and secured eight RHEL Linux servers and two Windows servers on VMWare, using tools like Cacti, OSSEC, Splunk, and Fortigate and Astaro Firewalls

Alterra Networks

Network Consultant

April 7, 2008 to August 4, 2008
Dublin, GA

  • Installed, setup, configured and managed new Windows servers and services for Alterra Network’s clients.
  • Required to learn new customer’s systems and setups quickly and on the spot to help troubleshoot and resolve any issues in a timely manner.
  • Provided consulting expertise for proactive network and system development and deployment.
  • Required to work on a team as well as independently.

IBM (CTG Contractor)

BIOS Test Engineer

April 23, 2007 to February 1, 2008
Raleigh, NC

  • Tested newly developed BIOS code drops for defects on IBM blades, running all enterprise level operating systems, Windows Server, Red Hat, OpenSUSE, etc.
  • Reported, researched, and verified defects to BIOS testing team and BIOS developers.
  • Developed step-by-step manual for BIOS testing IBM System Z mainframe.
  • Received “Above and Beyond” award for extraordinary dedicated and contribution in October 2007.

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Windows Server and Exchange Administrator

February 07, 2005 to May 11, 2007
Wake Forest, NC

  • Maintained and monitored Windows server (NT, 2000, and 2003) running services like, MS Exchange, Active Directory, CIFS, Cold Fusion, and IIS.
  • Researched and implemented new services for Faculty, Staff and Students of the school.
  • Assisted in the development of in-house applications using various languages, such as, PERL, ASP, ColdFusion, VB.NET.
  • Wrote detailed instructions and tutorials for end user applications.
  • Responsible for responding to intradepartmental work-orders and tickets.

Great Works Internet

Systems Operations Administrator

December 07, 2000 to November 12, 2004
Biddeford, ME

  • Managed UNIX (FreeBSD/BSDi) servers running services like Cistron Radius and FreeRadius, OpenLDAP, Sendmail, BIND, DHCP, Apache, PHP, MySQL, IPF, VPOPMail, and Qmail.
  • Required to know and develop shell scripts in PERL and BASH used by technical support staff.
  • Required to research and respond to interdepartmental escalations in a timely and professional manner.
  • Wrote, performed, and documented details system upgrades (hardware and software).
  • Responsible for 24/7 on-call rotation.


Bachelors of Arts in Biblical Studies

Graduated: December, 2007
GPA: 3.60/4.00
The College at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC

Bachelors of Science in Computer Science

Transferred 96 credit hours to Southeastern
University of Southern Maine
Portland, ME

High School Diploma

Graduated: May, 1998
Thornton Academy
Saco, ME