Long thought of as a pool of talent ripe for acquisition by Facebook or Google, Path, the mobile-focused social network, is making two big new hires.With those moves, we believe Path CEO Dave Morin is sending a signal about his ambitions for long-term independence.
AllThingsD reports that Path just hired Kim Jabal, formerly of camera maker Lytro, as its CFO. That’s a high-level position; most startups make do with a VP of finance.
And Business Insider has learned that Path has also hired Anne Toth, a former chief privacy officer at Yahoo and Google, as a consultant.
She’s going to work on compliance issues with a settlement the company reached with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC levied an $800,000 fine on the startup after it was found uploading users’ address books without their explicit consent and allowing children under the age of 13 to sign up for accounts.
Morin has talked about his plans to make money directly from Path users via subscriptions, rather than from advertising, though it hasn’t unveiled any subscription products yet. (It sells filters for enhancing photos, though in our experience of using Path, we’ve never seen anyone use them.)
Path, which limits users to mobile devices where they can keep up with a maximum of 150 friends, may have an opening given Facebook fatigue. Celebrities and teens, we hear anecdotally, are flocking to the service as an alternative to overexposure on social networks where everything is either public by default, like Twitter, or privacy settings are simply too confusing.
It has nearly 6 million registered users, about a quarter of whom are active at least once a week, and has raised $42 million from investors.
And the fact that Path is making high-profile hires like Jabal and Toth shows that the company is staffing up for big ambitions.
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