- Tumblr’s founder, David Karp, is resigning less than a year after Verizon acquired the Yahoo-owned subsidiary.
- Karp said he was leaving “after months of reflection on my personal ambitions.” He is also set to receive his fully vested compensation from Tumblr’s 2013 sale to Yahoo this year.
- Tumblr COO Jeff D’Onofrio will take over Karp’s responsibilities.
Tumblr’s founder and CEO, David Karp, is resigning from the company he created 10 years ago, he announced in a memo sent to employees on Monday.
Karp will leave Tumblr at the end of the year “after months of reflection on my personal ambitions,” he said in the memo, which he also published on his personal Tumblr blog.
His departure follows Verizon’s June acquisition of Yahoo, which has owned Tumblr, a pioneering blogging website, since 2013.
Tumblr COO Jeff D’Onofrio will take over Karp’s responsibilities as the leader and public face of the company, which now operates as a subsidiary of Verizon’s Oath internet business.
“David founded Tumblr 10 years ago as a space for the world’s creators, and we thank him for his commitment and passion driving the growth of the platform to almost 380 million blogs and over 155 billion posts,” an Oath representative told Business Insider.
Tumblr helped kick-start blogging and was acquired by Yahoo at the height of its popularity for $US1 billion, but its influence has waned in the years since. And last year, Yahoo wrote off hundreds of millions of dollars in goodwill from the purchase.
‘The internet is at a crossroads’
Verizon acquired Yahoo for $US4.5 billion earlier this year to create a subsidiary named Oath that includes AOL. Since the acquisition, much of Yahoo’s senior management have left, including CEO Marissa Mayer.
Karp is set to receive his final compensation from that sale this year. He was given roughly $US81 million in cash and stock awards in 2013 to stay at Tumblr for at least four years. He also received an estimated $US250 million in cash when Tumblr sold to Yahoo.
Oath declined to comment on the timing of Karp’s departure.
Karp did not provide details about his next move in his memo to employees, but he stressed that his decision to leave came “at no cost to my hopefulness” for Tumblr’s future.
At a time when the role of social media in spreading misinformation and propaganda is under scrutiny, Karp hinted that he believed Tumblr could play a role in fixing some of the problems.
“The internet is at a crossroads of which this team can play a fundamental role in shaping,” he said.
Here’s Karp’s full memo: