Jay Adelson, who departed his post at the helm of Digg as the company's downward spiral became increasingly evident, has been hired as the CEO of geolocation software start-up SimpleGeo. Co-founder and existing CEO Matt Galligan, who previously founded a social aggregator called Socialthing and sold it to AOL, has stepped aside to take the title of chief strategy officer.
"A little over a month ago, I approached our board and discussed the idea of me moving into a new role that would allow me to focus on what I'm best at--company strategy, evangelism, and new concepts around the integration of location services," co-founder Matt Galligan, who had been serving as CEO since the company's launch, wrote in a company blog post. "This idea would also mean bringing in an operationally focused CEO whose expertise and experience can take SimpleGeo to the next level. Together, we agreed that this was an appropriate course of action, given our growth."
The Digg roots in SimpleGeo, which makes geolocation software for companies that don't want to have to build it themselves, run deep. Joe Stump, Galligan's co-founder, was a longtime Digg employee and Adelson will be the eighth former Digg employee on SimpleGeo's payroll. (The company has about 25 employees total.)
Adelson left Digg in April, citing an "entrepreneurial calling" but surrounded by rumors of internal friction as it became apparent that the company was no longer the promising Internet darling that it had been several years prior. Co-founder Kevin Rose took over his post temporarily until the company hired former Amazon exec Matt Williams as CEO.
Things have not gotten better for Digg in the wake of Adelson's departure: its "Version 4" launch was poorly received. More prominent employees continued to depart, and the company announced more layoffs late last month, rendering its employee head count to less than half the size of what it was at its peak.