Topix, the community driven local news search experience, has a new CEO with a familiar face. Chris Tolles, the long time VP of Marketing for Topix has stepped into the role of CEO of the company.Rich Skrenta, the former CEO of Topix, has stepped down from the role, but is still with the company. It seems as Topix grows, Skrenta wants to simplify his role with the company and head its engineering, getting his hands dirtier in coding and what not, behind the curtain.
Chris on the other hand has always been the talking head of Topix, loves the limelight and will fit perfectly into the higher profile role as the company, well, obtains more of a higher profile (Topix hit the top 20 most visited news and info sites, according to Hitwise May 2007 data)… especially with the press.
Chris and Rich are both good people and it will be fun tracking the new twists and turns Topix takes.
In the words of Chris;
Well, when Rich and I were talking about what we needed to do around here to take things to the next level, we were in complete agreement…We would have to iterate the product quickly, and often, building out the platform and technology he had architected with the development team here, and also press the bet with some marketing and sales around what we’d built.
Even though we were seeing eye-to-eye on what needed to be done, after the press tour and some initial conversation about where we needed to go, Rich told me that he wasn’t having as much fun right now, and looking at what we needed to do, didn’t see much opportunity for what he really loves to do — architect from the metal on up….Anyway, it took a while to get everything straight, work it out with our board, and set everyone up. Essentially, I still work for Rich, and we still get access to his architectural chops, which is great. We’re on a tear, with a new one day record of traffic and forum posts yesterday, and a big bunch of stuff we need to work through.