Days after Technorati CEO Dave Sifry came out with an enthusiastic/bullish report on how well the blog search engine is doing (actually, he wants Technorati to be seen as a new media company), the company-that-no one-wants-to-buy is looking for a new CEO. It’s an interesting move given Technorati’s strong performance (unique visitors way up quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year) but what does it mean? Does it suggest Technorati’s board/investors are unhappy with Sifry’s performance and the company’s seeming inability to capitalize on the early lead it established as the king of blog search?
From a strategic perspective, one thing that has stood out over the last year or so is while Technorati has pushed forward with a bunch of new features, it hasn’t done anything particularly dramatic and bold. For example, maybe it should have bought a blog publisher or FeedBurner, or a stake in Automattic. Maybe a new CEO will have the skills/mandate to push Technorati in new directions.
Update: Sifry has written a long blog post to explain the decision to hire a new CEO. It looks like he looked at where Technorati could go and realized the company needs a different kind of CEO to get it there. “I want to be clear: I don’t come to this decision lightly. I’ve thought long and hard about this and believe bringing in new blood may be the best way for us to continue to grow Technorati and to ensure the company soars to ever greater accomplishment. One more thing I want to be clear about: I adore the company I created – after my family, it’s my proudest achievement, and I have no intention of leaving.”
While it must be a tough decision to make, I give Sifty a lot of credit for realizing the key to success is often hiring people smarter than you and/or those who have the different skill sets. It’s something many entrepreneur/founders have difficulty realizing or accepting because, after all, it’s their baby – and why would you want to let anyone else take the reins of something you created and nurtured.