Leah Busque founded TaskRabbit in Boston in 2008. Since then the company has changed a lot, including its name, which used to be RunMyErrand.It’s been a great year for the make-anyone-your-personal-minion company. It raised a $5 million Series A round from Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital in May, and it was recently featured on the ABC nightly news as a solution for America’s job crisis.
Today, news broke that Busque would be stepping down from the CEO role and that former Hotwire CEO Eric Grosse will be taking her place.
We spoke with sources close to the company who confirmed the CEO switch-up, and told us why it’s happening.
First, sources says the move had nothing to do with pressure from up and coming competitor, Zaarly.
“Zaarly rarely comes up in our discussions, although we are obviously watching them,” says the source. “We’re strongly ahead in usage.” After the ABC stint, TaskRabbit’s traffic saw a massive upswing too, we were told.
Instead, our sources tell us a new CEO is being brought in to take TaskRabbit to the next level, and that Busque is “110% behind the move.”
“She initiated the process herself and found someone she thinks is amazing. Not every manager in the dugout wants to be front office General Manager,” we were told. “She’s an awesome product person and that’s what she wanted to focus on. Fundraising can be a huge distraction.”
Another source agrees that Busque is behind the move, but indicates that it was necessary to take the company to new heights.
“TaskRabbit is a fast growing company,” says the source. “In the spring, it rebranded, moved out west, and raised money. It’s seeing amazing traction, buzz and usage. But now it’s time to have a pro CEO build it to the next level.”
The source wasn’t sure exactly what Bursque’s new role will be, but says she will still be the vision, face and heart of the company, and that she will be “100% involved and committed to its success.” She’ll likely become a Tim Westergren, the original founder of Pandora, who continued to be the face of the company after a new CEO filled his shoes.
We’ve reached out to Busque for comment.