Foursquare has undergone major changes to its entire product lineup. Now it faces an executive shuffle.
Current Chief Operating Officer Evan Cohen will leave the company in the coming weeks, after spending the past four and a half years at the company. Also departing is long-time business development head Holger Luedorf.
The departures come at a vulnerable moment at Foursquare, which has made big changes to its core mobile functions. Earlier this month, Foursquare split its app in half to move away from its roots in game-like check-ins without losing the functionality entirely. The new Foursquare is focused on local discovery, a major change in direction for the company that has been in the works for the past year.
Observers wonder how well Foursquare can make its transition from one type of check-in app to local discovery software for smartphones, and whether the company has peaked in popularity. Foursquare has said it serves 50 million registered users, but it has not shared the number of people actively using its Web and mobile properties on a regular monthly basis.
Cohen, who built and managed Foursquare teams including business development, human relations and corporate development inside the company, said he was leaving for personal reasons.
“I was running low on gas, frankly, and it made sense for me to hand the baton off to a fresh new executive,” Cohen said in an interview. Cohen spent 2013 putting together some of Foursquare’s biggest deals, including a $41 million debt round led by Silver Lake Partners and a strategic investment and licensing deal with Microsoft.
Foursquare plans to appoint former Matrix Partners entrepreneur-in-residence Jeffrey Glueck as its new COO, starting June 16. Cohen will remain an adviser to the company.
Before joining Matrix, Glueck was an EVP of Operator Solutions at Opera Software, a position he moved into after the browser company acquired his company, Skyfire, in February of last year. As was the case under Cohen, Foursquare’s finance, HR, marketing, biz dev and legal departments will report to Glueck.
Luedorf, who is also leaving the company, will hand over the reins to Mike Harkey, who has worked on the biz dev team since October of 2012. Luedorf plans to join Postmates, the San Francisco-based delivery service startup, where he will again lead business development for the 56 person company.
Despite the executive shuffle, CEO Dennis Crowley maintains that Foursquare is doing just fine. “We’re really excited about the direction and the momentum that we have right now, and Foursquare would not have gotten here without the contributions that Evan has made,” Crowley said in an interview.
Crowley said that Luedorf’s and Cohen’s simultaneous departures were coincidental, and that Foursquare had been conducting a confidential executive search for a replacement for Cohen over the past six months. “This wasn’t a decision that just happened overnight,” Crowley said.
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