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Longtime Digg CEO Jay Adelson is stepping down, saying in a blog post that went live just now that he is “ready to incubate some new business ideas.” He’s being replaced temporarily by founder Kevin Rose. Adelson, who has been CEO since 2005, emphasizes that he’s leaving because the site is thriving (“the new Digg getting ready to launch, Digg Ads doing well, our sales force growing, our hiring ramping,” he writes). Adelson also announced earlier this year that the site had been “EBITDA profitable” in 2009.
Still, the move comes as Digg has made some very aggressive business moves over the last year. The company ended its exclusive ad-sales agreement with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) a year ago and, a few months later, announced a new ad platform of its own that let users vote on ads just as they do with stories. It also said this fall that an ad network — which would include non-Digg sites — was in the works. Suspicious he would leave in the midst of all that.
Adelson will now be an “adviser” at Digg, while Rose will be chairman, in addition to acting CEO. Adelson had also been CEO of Revision3 but gave up that position two-and-a-half years ago to focus on his job at Digg. He remains chairman there.