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About.me will need a new product officer entry on its “About” page.
Ryan Freitas, the cofounder and chief product officer, is leaving About.me. Jeffrey Veen, an adviser to the company and design partner at True Ventures, will step in to help the company as it transitions to a new product chief.
Freitas announced his departure in a blog post on Medium:
“Last summer, the time came to raise additional funding. Making great strides toward achieving the vision we’d sketched out more than a year before, there was an opportunity for some reflection on what we’d built. I had reason to be happy with what we’d achieved. Although I generally resist feeling self-satisfied, I recognized that we were at an inflection point. I want the best thing for the product and its users; being honest meant admitting my eyes weren’t as fresh as when we’d begun. After five years of building the product, I was eager for more diversity in my work and different challenges to go along with it. [Cofounder] Tony [Conrad] and I agreed that it was time to make a change.”
About.me has seen a lot of changes in recent years.
The company began back in 2009 and saw rapid success. Just four days after its site went live in 2010, the company was acquired by AOL. But the founders weren’t satisfied with its direction of AOL’s leadership, so they bought it back in 2013.
Independent again, About.me started making moves. The company bought WeFollow, a digital directory service that sorts people based on their social media profiles, to help people on the site discover one another. Weeks later, it rolled out paid premium features for the site’s super-users.
Freitas doesn’t say what’s next for him, only that he considers Veen “a friend and a mentor.”
As for About.me, it’s not certain what this change means for the company’s trajectory. Chances are it will mean a change in strategy or perhaps more products that eat at LinkedIn’s user base.
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