Colorful and controversial dot.com site founder Philip Kaplan stepped down as AdBrite CEO, reported CNET News.com yesterday. Kaplan, 30, told the site his decision was made to hand the business to “professional management.” Kaplan is most noted for running the controversial Web site F***edCompany during the dot-com bust.
“I suggested it, and there was no push back,” Kaplan said. “I really wanted an expert to come in and help run AdBrite.” He founded AdBrite in 2004.
Speculation is that AdBrite will announce Ignacio Fanlo, a former executive at an e-commerce site that was lambasted on F***edCompany.com, is AdBrite’s new CEO. Kaplan said he will stay on to oversee AdBrite’s products.
Kaplan emerged as an unlikely player in Silicon Valley with F***edCompany. But last year, hejumped the fence and became an executive.
“I guess back then I never thought it through from management’s perspective,” Kaplan said of his days writing at F***edCompany. “I wrote purely from the perspective of the employees who were getting lied to and ripped off. It came from the employees. Now, I see how hard it is. I understand how a company works from management’s perspective.”
Kaplan says he is not sorry for anything he penned during his days as “Pud.”
“Much of what executives at dot-coms did back then was wrong. I’ll always think it’s wrong to lie to employees. We’ve never done that here,” he said.
During his 18-month tenure as AdBrite’s head honcho, the company was profitless, but it recently received $8 million in a second round of funding, he told CNET News.com. In the past six months, AdBrite has seen the number of publishers offering space to advertisers grow to 16,000. During that time, the company has upped staff size from 25 to 43.