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Summary:

Jim Safka, the former Ask.com CEO, has stepped down as CEO of heavily-funded online textbook rental service Chegg after less than four month…

Jim Safka

Jim Safka, the former Ask.com CEO, has stepped down as CEO of heavily-funded online textbook rental service Chegg after less than four months on the job. In a statement, Safka says he is leaving the startup to spend more time with his family. “Due to the extraordinary demands of Chegg over the last several months and exceptional growth, the work required of the CEO of the next 12-18 months has compacted into a much shorter period of time,” he says. “Given my personal priorities and family desires, I have decided to pass the reigns to a new CEO but look forward to consulting with Chegg on marketing.” In leaving Ask.com in mid-May, following the unexpected death of his brother, Safka also said that he had re-evaluated his priorities and wanted to do something “smaller and more local, enabling me to have a better personal balance.”

With Safka’s departure, co-founder Osman Rashid, who had been CEO until Safka’s hiring, will take on the role of interim CEO. Rashid is also the CEO of Kakai, a stealth startup closely tied to Chegg which is developing electronic book reader mobile phone apps.

Chegg says it “does not expect to make any additional structural changes or executive leadership changes at this time.” The startup raised $25 million in a third round of funding last December. Release.

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  1. I am confused. Didn't this guy say the same thing 5 months ago when he left IAC only to take the Chegg role right after? And, now he is saying the same thing about the Chegg role? Something is very fishy here. Too bad there are no more reporters left in the world to find out the truth. Hmmmm.

  2. It is my impression that the position of CEO/President of search engine operations are taken lightly by firms such as Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com and perfectly explains why Google will retain the #1 spot.

    Technology CEOs need to have lifelong passion and dedication to the craft – if they do not have that, they will have a hard time prevailing against CEOs that do have the lifelong passion and dedication.

    Every company from Apple, Oracle to Intel is testimony to this. I have come to realize with maturity that the Web or Web 2.0 will always be nothing more than short play until we see true talent on the scene instead of privileged shorters…

  3. At IAC Safka stepped into roles where he did not have to do very much since the companies already had most of their pieces in place and he really just served as a caretaker. I think at Chegg the demands of actually having to build something caught up with his limited skill set.

  4. His excuse seems to be nice. Spending time with his family is worth indeed.

  5. My comment was deleted by paidcontent.org that appears to rub someone the wrong way.

    I would like to know why my comment was deleted.

  6. Ed
    You're one super sensitive dude. Your first reaction is: we deleted it? It was in closed for some reason due to software…anyway, opened it now.

  7. NP, Rafat…I was wondering if you guys were super sensitive after I saw it missing…

  8. Jimbo “Tiger” Safka Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Just talk to any Chegg employee and you’ll hear the real reason. The truth is a lot juicier than “spending time with family”,

  9. I hope this does not affect their service level or pricing structure. I have been very pleased with Chegg’s service and am getting ready to rent next semester’s books from them. Chegg also buys used books. I got around $40-50 per book which was MUCH higher than I could get from the college bookstore or even by selling on Amazon. Coupon code CC101954 gives you an extra $5.00 when you sell your books to Chegg. The same coupon gets you an extra 5% off of book rentals. I have saved hundreds of dollars on textbooks using Chegg and hope to continue doing so.

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