Student media startup The Tab has lost its CEO and cofounder.
George Marangos-Gilks, who started The Tab at Cambridge University with editor-in-chief Jack Rivlin in 2012, confirmed his departure to Business Insider on Thursday. Rivlin will take over as CEO.
“I think there’s always a right time for a CEO and a founder to move on, and that time is now,” said Marangos-Gilks during a phone call. “Personally I’m in a very good place. Structurally the team are extremely strong and I know they’re going to continue to go on and do great things.
“It was a very hard decision. Journalism is the most fun job in the world and running your own company is fantastic so to walk away from so many friends and that position of responsibility was a difficult thing but I think ultimately where I am in my life right now and where the team is, this is a positive thing.”
His departure comes after The Tab let go of at least half a dozen employees in March.
It also comes less than a year after The Tab raised a $3 million (£2.2 million) funding round to help it expand into the US. The money came from a range of investors including venture capital firm Balderton, which has also backed social media site Bebo, urban navigation app Citymapper, and movie streaming site LoveFilm.
“I’m not going to say we haven’t had a hard time in the last year,” said Marangos-Gilks. “I think all startups do, right?” When asked about the challenges over the last year, Marangos-Gilks said: “It’s standard stuff that everybody goes through.”
Marangos-Gilks denied that there has been any animosity between him and his employees, adding that he and Rivlin remain close friends. “Jack’s my best friend in the world,” he said. “He’s been my best friend since university and we’ve just been on two holidays together in the last month.”
Founded as a student news site, The Tab has evolved into a network of online student publications across the country, with 51 university-specific websites across the UK and around 30 in the US.
This time last year the company had 16 employees and that figure now stands at 32. The Tab also relies on an army of campus reporters, many of whom aren’t paid for the work they do — something that led to criticism from the likes of The Guardian.
In terms of achievements, Marangos-Gilks pointed out that The Tab’s journalists have broken hundreds of stories that have been picked up by the national press in the UK and the US, including one story about Barack Obama’s daughter going to Harvard University.
Marangos-Gilks said he will continue to advise The Tab on a “weekly basis” and that he’ll retain a position on the company’s board.
He added that he plans to return to “the London startup scene” after he’s been to visit his parents in Australia and perfected his Greek.
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