bit.ly CEO Exits, Data Services Expand
Bitly and its CEO Peter Stern are parting ways, the company announced Monday.
In a hospitable, if curt sendoff, Bitly board member Sam Mandel credited Stern with “transforming Bitly into a successful business while growing its unparalleled data set.”
Officially, Stern is leaving “to pursue other interests.” There was no word as to what those interests are, or who may take Stern's place at Bitly.
Launched as a simple link-shortening service in 2008, Bitly has since branched out into data tracking, research and other marketing services.
Last spring, the company repositioned itself as broad social bookmarking hub built around saving and sharing links, or “bitmarks.” As part of the makeover, users have been encouraged to organize bitmarks around various topics, as well as search and filter them, and share them on Facebook and Twitter.
Initially, Bitly said the shift resulted in daily registrations increasing by some 300%, while some longtime users expressed their dissatisfaction with the change.
More recently, Bitly launched Realtime -- an experimental service that offers marketers insights into what ideas, stories and content bits are gaining the most traction around the Web.
However mainstream and marketable Bitly has sought to become, however, it has yet to resort to advertising. To generate revenue, the company has historically charged businesses to access its services.
To date, Bitly has raised nearly $30 million from Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.