According to anonymous sources, Feedster co-founder and Chief Technical Officer J. Scott Johnson was voted off the executive board of the company, presumably because of a difference in creative visions. Those differing visions may have spawned from a riff over the role of advertising in the future of Feedster, an assertion WebProNews was unable to confirm.
In September, former CEO Scott Rafer left Feedster to pursue new projects with Wireless Ink., where he is now the chairman. Rafer blogged about the move on September 7th.
Johnson, however, has not blogged about the split, nor is Feedster allowing the forwarding of his email, sources say, because of legal issues. Everyone involved is remaining tight-lipped.
Johnson had little to say about the matter other than he had left the company suddenly and that “attorneys are involved.”
“I don’t want to say anything bad about the company,” he said.
Chris Redlitz, President of Feedster, had similar reservations.
“I cannot discuss it,” said Redlitz. “No comment.” It was indicated that information about Johnson’s exodus would be available within a few days.
Redlitz was promoted to President in November from Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
It may have been a philosophical disagreement between Redlitz and Johnson the spurred the board voting for Johnson’s removal. According to sources familiar with the situation, it is easy to imagine that Redlitz, with an extensive advertising and marketing background, clashed with Johnson’s purist open source (and anti-advertising) leanings.
Johnson’s situation isn’t unique in the business world. When founders take their companies public, they lose a lot of power. One source familiar with the case said that Johnson’s ousting was fueled by the appointing of a new CEO.
“There were management moves focused on advertising,” said the source.
Johnson faxed the final paper work to Feedster from the Technorati office yesterday morning.
On the upside, 38-year-old Johnson, who has split his time between San Francisco and his home in Indianapolis, will have more time to spend with his wife and son.