Tumblr CEO David Karp Is Stepping Down After 11 Years


Tumblr is perhaps best known for its diverse collection of blogging communities — like Reddit but way, way nicer. Since its introduction in 2007, the microblogging website has evolved into somewhat of a de facto venue where different groups of people with similar interests — be it anime, fashion, or something more fine-grained, like the "Old Loves" blog — can come together and spill their guts.

Tumblr Loses Its CEO

But it's the end of an era for some Tumblr fans. David Karp, the site's founder, has announced that he's stepping down as CEO after helming the position for 11 years. Tumblr's operations chief, Jeff D'Onofrio, will take over his duties.

Karp did not dwell on his reasons for leaving, but in an email sent to his team, he said that the decision came after "months of reflection" about his personal ambitions. Tumblr has yet to issue an official comment about Karp's departure.

"I beg you to understand that my decision comes after months of reflection on my personal ambitions, and at no cost to my hopefulness for Tumblr's future or the impact I know it can have," wrote Karp, who added that the team he'll be leaving can shape the future of the internet.

From Yahoo To Verizon

Six years after it launched, Karp sold Tumblr to Yahoo for $1.1 billion, which was then eventually sold to Verizon and bundled alongside AOL, then grouped into assets to form Verizon subsidiary Oath.

A spokeswoman for Oath has confirmed that Karp will depart the subsidiary by the end of 2017. What remains unclear, however, is whether Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo played a role in Karp's decision to exit Tumblr's doors.

Karp's departure won't necessarily hamper Tumblr's progress, but the decision comes at a time when the site still has difficulty competing with major social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram. Tumblr has long been the holy grail of internet culture, blessing denizens with thousands upon thousands of memes, GIFs, and special interest blogs. Even still, it's been playing a lot of catch-up lately.

For one, it only added stickers and filters this year, and live video only showed up last year. As the new CEO, D'Onofrio's plans remain unclear, but if Tumblr aims to compete with social media juggernauts, it would have to stir things up a bit. How he'll go about doing that is an exciting prospect.

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