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Bit.ly CEO Steps Down to 'Pursue Other Interests'

The URL shortening company announced Peter Stern's resignation Monday in a cryptic blog post.

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'Tis the season for high-profile resignations. From Pope Benedict XVI to Groupon CEO Andrew Mason, the Internet has been abuzz with news of one resignation--or sacking--after another.

Peter Stern, CEO of the URL shortening company Bit.ly, appears to be the most recent addition to a growing list of commanders-in-chief who have stepped down lately.

Bit.ly announced in a cryptic blog post Monday that Stern would be leaving the company to "pursue other interests." This statement has created speculation as to what interests Stern may be pursuing--and what his motivation for leaving the company might be.

After all, it seems like a strange time for the CEO to step down: Bit.ly has raised more than $25 million, closing its most recent round of funding with $15 million in July.

One popular theory suggests that Bit.ly may have run out of momentum after the URL shortening market grew to incorporate other service providers. TechCrunch’s Drew Olanoff writes: "Bit.ly has cooled off since services like Twitter have started handling their own short URLs."

"To be delicate, link shortening is a feature" and not a company, adds Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web.

Bit.ly board member Sam Mandel announced in the company’s statement that Stern would remain a "shareholder and a supporter" though not necessarily an operating influence. "Peter has been a key leader and contributor to the company," said.

Last updated: Mar 12, 2013

FRANCESCA FENZI | Staff Writer

Francesca Fenzi reports on entrepreneurship, technology and small business news from San Francisco. Her work has previously appeared in TIME, USA Today, Pop City and The Northside Chronicle.




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