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Summary:

Digg is close to announcing a new CEO, according to current chief executive Kevin Rose. The Digg co-founder also says the company has annual revenue in the “double-digit millions” and has had several break-even months, and doesn’t feel that it needs to raise any additional cash.

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Digg CEO Kevin Rose

Digg will soon announce a new CEO, according to co-founder and current chief executive Kevin Rose, who admits he’s not really a good fit for the job, calling the task of managing the startup’s 80-person staff “a nightmare” in a video interview with All Things Digital (full version embedded below). Rose — who took the top job when CEO Jay Adelson left the company earlier this year — also says the company has annual revenue in the “double-digit millions” and has had a number of break-even months; therefore, he doesn’t feel that it needs to raise additional capital.

The Digg founder also told All Things Digital that the new version of Digg, which has been in invitation-only testing for almost a year, involves some “big, bold new directions” for the company. Rose says while that means “if you get it wrong you may screw things up pretty bad — I’m OK with that, our investors are OK with it, and we have some good solid ideas we want to bet on” over the next four to six months. He also said he realizes that “we’ve got a very small window to really get things right,” and that there are a lot of other competitors trying to solve the same problem Digg is, which he described as filtering the firehose of information that comes from Twitter and Facebook and other social-media services.

Rose said that after a few years of hype about the company, Digg went through a difficult period after the economic downturn. At that point, he says, “a lot of us freaked here, and we said we need to focus on revenue and ads.” The Digg CEO says the company now has a new ad platform that is “working great,” so the focus is on getting the redesigned site launched (although he didn’t say when that would happen). Rose said there were more than 30 new features on the table when the redesign began, but that he chose to focus on about five that “we could do really well,” and that his vision for Digg was to be “the most efficient way for links to spread.”

The Digg founder also talked about how he liked working on product details and working with small teams rather than managing the entire company, and that being the CEO was “a pain in the a** that I would never wish on my worst enemy.”

Digg’s redesign involves a personalized stream of content from the people and sources a user chooses to subscribe to or “follow” — similar to the way users follow sources on Twitter — which led my colleague Liz to say that the link-sharing site wants to be “the Twitter of news.” Instead of seeing all the top submissions from the entire user-base, or within different content sections, the default view for the redesigned site is a central column called “My News” that features links submitted by people and publishers you’ve chosen to follow. As I described after trying out the new site, however, this makes the overlap between Digg and other social media a lot more obvious, which may or may not be a good thing.

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  1. This is cute and all but this company has been in business for 6 years. Yeah, that’s right, 6 years!

    So they’re doing ten million in revenue. Big deal. Six years is a really long time. They whiffed. They missed their window of opportunity. Period.

    Time to stop treating Kevin Rose like he’s running a start-up. He is a “has-been”.

    Digg is a retread. DIGG = DEAD imho!

  2. I’d have to agree that Digg is toast. The world has changed so much since 2004. Digg is a relic of the past.

  3. In my opinion Digg has never brought anything revolutionary to the table. It’s a site that has links to stories with useless commentary by the users. Big deal. People rate a story up. Big deal. I mean there are plenty of individuals that are attracted to “shiny” new toys just because they are “shiny”, but do they really take into account the usefulness of the toy or just buy it because they have the cash. We are all entitled to ideas, ideas keep the world moving, but there are ideas that truly add something to the world and those that do nothing, Digg is the latter. I don’t see any changes to Digg adding any additional value to it.

  4. The new Digg looks a lot like quippd, which is live for anyone to join right now.

    http://quippd.com/

  5. Digg is not dead, and never will be. Sorry to dampan your parade of negativity you guys. It is just too big of a web property to die. It may be ‘dead’ for hipsters and those as far as design or something specific… but as a whole, it will never die. Also, Kevin being a ‘has-been’ is quite the opposite of how he really is. He is one of the most forward thinking people in Social media… sorry to dampan your parade again. Troll much?

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  7. New Digg CEO Must Grab the Reins and Go Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    [...] has since said publicly that he’d rather work on product than be CEO. (His actual words to All Things D were that the chief gig was “a pain in the a** that I would never wish on my [...]

  8. Digg Cuts Staff by 37%, Loses Senior Executive: Tech News « Monday, October 25, 2010

    [...] Kevin Rose, who was then CEO, said in an interview with All Things Digital that the company was close to turning a profit and didn’t need to raise additional capital, because it had “double-digit millions” in revenue and had broken even on a monthly [...]

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