Foursquare announced Thursday that CEO and co-founder Dennis Crowley is stepping down from his role as CEO, becoming the executive chairman.
The new CEO is Jeff Glueck, who has served as COO for the past year. Steven Rosenblatt will move into the role of President.
Crowley’s exit as CEO comes at the same time the company closed a new $45 million round of funding, albeit with a valuation of nearly half its last raise in 2013. According to Crunchbase, the company has raised over $160 million to date.
Foursquare, which debuted in 2009 as a mobile-first location-based social network, was once considered one of the hottest tech startups. In a world where “web 2.0” still meant something, Foursquare was frequently mentioned in the same sentence as Twitter and Facebook.
But over the last seven years, the market — and Foursquare — have changed. The company, which deserves the honor of popularizing the concept of the “check-in,” has evolved from a social network into something more like Yelp.
Its pivot — which included offloading most of the social features of the app into a separate app called Swarm, hasn’t been without its challenges.
Existing users balked and it hasn’t been clear that new users have come to take their place.
Moreover, the company has seen a tremendous amount of talent leave the company over the last year.
I spoke with Crowley at a Foursquare walk-about in Brooklyn last fall and he seemed to be happy with the company and its new identity as a recommendation engine. Still, as a journalist I’ve struggled to zero in on exactly what Foursquare is now — if it isn’t about the check-in.
In a Medium post, CEO Jeff Glueck describes Foursquare as “a fast-growing location intelligence company, making consumer experiences richer and informing business solutions.”
In other words, the new Foursquare is looking a lot more B2B and a lot less like a consumer play. This isn’t to say the consumer parts of Foursquare won’t continue to exist, but it does seem as if the focus — and the growth potential — is in partnerships with companies such as Apple and Twitter, rather than as a brand unto itself.