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Summary:

As we reported earlier, Eric Hippeau is switching roles at the Huffington Post from board member to CEO. He’ll still be on the board but as…

imageAs we reported earlier, Eric Hippeau is switching roles at the Huffington Post from board member to CEO. He’ll still be on the board but as the person responsible for day-to-day operations, not the adviser, for the first time since he left as chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis in 2000. Hippeau isn’t completely leaving the VC world: he stays on at SoftBank as special partner, representing the company on three portfolio boards. (Separately, we understand that SoftBank is on the verge of deciding whether or not to raise a new U.S. fund.)

Why Hippeau? HuffPo Cofounder Ken Lerer told me he first met Hippeau four years ago and, within 15 minutes of explaining the concept, had a handshake deal for Softbank to invest. No, Hippeau doesn’t have general news experience but “he gets journalism completely,” Lerer said. “As we were going through our thinking as a board, it became apparent that we had the best possible new CEO right here.” Why change now? Referring to the economy, Lerer explained: “Sometimes things happen where you can really build a company aggressively. … This is the time the Huffington Post needs to get to the next level. It

  1. rufusduckworth Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    i am quite sure that there are thousands of ex-ZD people that do not think that Mr. Hippeau is the right person for this job. He is NOT an Internet person imho. I doubt this will end up working out. And, it's always complete BS when a CEO says they could be profitable right now.

    Know what I say to that? Do it! Let's see Huff Po get profitable right now. I bet you can't do it.

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