One way to get some almost uninterrupted time with peripatetic Arianna Huffington: talk to her while she’s on jury duty, waiting to be picked. (I say almost because she has two cell phones and whichever one she’s not on is likely to ring.) We spoke Monday afternoon as news was spreading of the Hufffington Post‘s CEO change to investor Eric Hippeau from Betsy Morgan, covering a number of subjects including the change, the way the company has handled the nearly $37 million in funding it has raised, and the site’s expansion plans.
Huffington, like the board members I interviewed, spoke of Morgan’s accomplishments growing traffic and the organization during her 18 months as CEO. Morgan represented the transition from Huffington and Cofounder Ken Lerer as first-stage startup execs. But, she said, “what is needed here is really monetizing the traffic. That is the primary responsibility of our CEO at this stage in our growth.” She said Morgan knew the change was imminent.
It’s a key part of what she sees as HuffPo’s next phase: “In our space, staying still doesn