Jay Adelson, CEO of Digg for the last five years, is stepping down in order to pursue his “entrepreneurial calling,” he said today. Kevin Rose, founder and longtime public face of the company, will become chairman and acting CEO.
The move signals a deeper commitment to the company by Rose. Digg has long been Rose’s main gig but he is also an active angel investor in companies like Gowalla and Foursquare and always has multiple side projects going, among them Pownce (acquired by Six Apart) and WeFollow (now part of Digg). Rose, the geek icon and former TechTV host, founded Digg in 2004 and brought in Adelson to run it from the early days.
Digg, which filters the news through user voting, was a groundbreaking site but has lost ground to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, which offer more personal ways of finding news. In order to compete, Digg is preparing for a major redesign that will make it more of a personalized news reader and offer better publisher tools for syndicating news.
Adelson had also been CEO of Digg sister company Revision3 (which produces Diggnation), but stepped down from that role in 2007; it’s now headed up by Jim Louderback. He said he will continue to advise Digg, but no longer in a day-to-day role.