Garrett Camp has abruptly stepped down as CEO of StumbleUpon, the link-sharing service he started 10 years ago.
The company is searching for a replacement. Camp will still be the company’s chairman. Cofounder and CTO Geoff Smith is staying on.
StumbleUpon, which was bought by eBay in 2007 for $75 million and then spun out as an independent company in 2009, specialises in the now-hot field of “social discovery”—helping people find interesting links. In part because its product deliberately aims to drive users to other websites rather than keeping them on the site, it’s become a very effective driver of traffic to news and entertainment sites.
By some measures, it’s better than Facebook at generating traffic.
According to StumbleUpon spokesman Mike Mayzel, Camp has been talking to the board about making this change for a year.
Over that time, Camp has done a pretty good job as CEO. StumbleUpon raised $17 million in March 2011 and has.grown its registered user base from 14 million to 25 million.
But with Camp ready to exit the CEO role, StumbleUpon had a conundrum: do the search quietly, and risk a leak that might suggest board discontent with Camp, or announce Camp’s plans and free the company up to find its next leader.
“We wanted to make the CEO search public,” said StumbleUpon spokesman Mike Mayzel. Camp will be involved in finding his replacement.
The ideal candidate is someone with international experience, Mayzel said. StumbleUpon gets 85 per cent of its traffic from North America, but plans to launch local versions of its website in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany this summer.
Camp is also a cofounder of Uber, the on-demand limousine service.