While Wright will remain a board member and shareholder of the venture-backed startup, he already has a replacement: Elaine Kunda will take over the reins as CEO from this point forward.
The decision apparently stems from the beginning of this year, when Wright took a short vacation and went offline for about 10 days. He writes:
I did it because I was tired, burnt out and recognized that my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I was working too much, unhappy at home, unhappy at work and just felt completely blah. Basically I did it because a friend asked me what I wanted my life to be… It was then that I realized not only was I unhappy, but that I had no idea what I wanted my life to be.
Wright’s soul-searching follows some shifts at b5media itself, which saw massive pay cuts for bloggers as the economy tumbled last fall. It hasn’t been fun since then.
But at least the network as a whole is holding up, with comScore estimating 5.8 million worldwide unique visitors in May, 2009, up from 2.7 million last August. I had a brief chat with Wright, and he assured me revenues and traffic are holding steady, though he refused to detail either one.
CrunchBase tells us b5media has raised $2 million in venture funding to date, but since he mentions “millions and millions of dollars” in his blog post I wanted to find out if it was actually more than that. Wright confirmed that the total amount of capital invested in the company is in fact higher than the listed $2 million, but refused to disclose any new investors, let alone any amounts.
Wright is moving on to new things, and in the meantime will run a consultancy agency of sorts along with some other people. The name of the short-term venture he will be shifting most of his attention to from now on is netmobs.