Peter Stern

Bitly Gets A New CEO

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Three years after founding bitly as a home-grown startup inside betaworks, John Borthwick is passing the reigns to a new CEO, Peter Stern. Borthwick will remain CEO of betaworks and concentrate on new products and investments.

Stern comes most recently from Zenbe, a webmail platform and mobile that went through a Facebook talent acquisition last November. Stern, who was a co-founder, didn’t go to Facebook. He’s more a New York kind of guy. Back in the 1990s, he founded Datek, one of the original online brokerages.

Of course, bitly started out as a link-shortener, and that is still primarily what it is used for. But all of that realtime data about the links people are sharing is very valuable and can give rise to other products. For instance, bitly data is at the core of its News.me reader for the iPad. “You can expect bitly to build on its strengths,” says Stern, “enabling people to explore and share content in other ways beyond url shortening.”

Late last year, bitly raised $10 million, which it is putting towards new product development and hires (including Flickr’s former product chief).