Sifry Seeks Technorati CEO Replacement

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David Sifry has put out the word that blog search site Technorati wants to find a new CEO to possibly help take the company public.

Sifry Seeks Technorati CEO Replacement
Sifry Seeks Technorati CEO Replacement
Sifry Seeks Technorati CEO Replacement

The twist is that Sifry’s ideal candidate will replace Sifry himself. In a blog post today, Sifry explained what he will do once a strong CEO candidate comes in to take the reins:

I adore the company I created – after my family, it’s my proudest achievement, and I have no intention of leaving. Like other founders of some of our best-known and legendary technology companies, I intend to play a vital, ongoing role here at Technorati. If anything, I expect to resume a more active role in product development, driving innovation, and listening hard to our users while giving them the best service in the business. Maybe even get in a bit of coding every now and then.

Among the background Sifry wants to find in a candidate would be experience in leading an IPO. That suggests an ultimate goal for the site, through either a public offering or being acquired by someone else.

But who? There are a few little negative points an incoming CEO better be ready to address, or at least have enough confidence in his golden parachute to take up the challenge. First among them would be Google, with its Blog Search and its regular indexing of blog content. Fighting Google at search looks like a fool’s errand.

Another would be the upheaval Technorati has seen among its personnel, several of whom have departed over the past year. Anyone can pluck a Schmidt from a Novell; finding a Brin and Page is the real trick, and the new CEO may have to accomplish that feat.

If acquisition is the goal, the question is who will do the buying? Google can probably be ruled out. Yahoo has had blog search in the past, but phased it out. Microsoft could do it, but one can almost imagine them wanting to do this in-house.

IAC’s Ask has blog search already, as part of its services. AOL enters the conversation here, and they look like an interesting choice. Technorati’s concepts seem to fit what AOL wants to do with its web-first approach to social media; the technology could be another story.

Then there’s News Corp, and its Fox Interactive Media portfolio with MySpace and other sites. Could Technorati complement MySpace and its numerous profiles? Would it even fit in with Fox’s properties?

Whoever Sifry finds should be a skillful fundraiser and an adept motivator of engineering talent (unless they go the outsourcing route). Technorati could be a lot better in terms of downtime and blog post indexing, as many bloggers have observed.

Taking care of those little things, along with a ruthless Steve Jobs-like focus on a vision for Technorati, should be qualities Technorati looks for in an aspiring CEO candidate.

Sifry Seeks Technorati CEO Replacement
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