Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Federated Media Will Search for New Leader Says Founder and CEO Battelle (Plus a Web Squared and Double-D Video!)


John Battelle (pictured here), the founder, chairman and CEO of Federated Media Publishing, told his staff this morning that he will begin a search for a new top exec to take the company into its next stage of growth.

Battelle, who is apparently not leaving the San Francisco-based company, wrote that the new exec–whose title could be CEO–would report to him.

In a post on the FM site about the move called “The Start of Something, Again,” he wrote:

“It’s time to take it to the next level. FM is no longer a scrappy startup, and while its leadership team is deep and experienced, we’ve come to the conclusion that to take the company to the place we all know it can go, we need an additional leader on board. So today, I’m announcing that I’m officially launching a search for that position. It used to be you did this in private, but we live in the world of social media, and one of FM’s mores is transparency. I want to honor that value today.

So let me be clear: I am in no way leaving the business. This new leader–the title will depend on the person–will be responsible for running the business–taking all reports and managing to our plan–but he or she will be working very closely with me.”


FM, which sells online advertising for a large group of social-media sites and blogs, raised $50 million in funding a year ago from Oak Investment Partners, giving it a valuation of over $200 million.

The start-up had previously raised about $4.5 million from other investors, including the New York Times, the Omidyar Network and Panorama Capital.

FM reportedly did $40 million in revenue last year and has been cash-flow positive for many years, although the recent economic downturn has impacted its bottom line.

Here is a video interview I did last night with Battelle and others at a dinner he and Tim O’Reilly threw in San Francisco for Silicon Valley movers and shakers, related to the upcoming Web 2.0 Summit that they organize.

He did not mention the exec search at FM, though–instead he talked about the next phase of Web 2.0, which he is now calling “Web Squared.”

No kidding.

Here’s the video–which also includes CBS (CBS) Interactive exec Zander Lurie suggesting a more buxom name for D: All Things Digital: