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.