Eons Hires New CTO

1/23/08Follow @wroush

Last September Bob broke the story that Reed Sturtevant, the longtime chief technology officer at Eons, Boston’s social networking site for the 50-and-over crowd, had accepted a job heading up a new Cambridge, MA-based development lab and innovation group for Microsoft. Sturtevant’s departure came shortly after Eons had laid off a third of its staff and cut several under-performing sections of its website.

But Eons has now filled the CTO vacancy, hiring Eric Golin, a “serial engineer” who has held the CTO posts at Content Objects, a compliance and risk management support company in Cambridge; Argo Technology, a Newton, MA, company that developed unified information management tools for consumers; and Broadvision, an e-business software provider based in Redwood City, CA.

“I’m getting very close to 50, and the baby boomer social applications space we’re after is very exciting for me,” says Golin, who will have responsibility for Eons’ technology platform. “A lot of the people I talk to have a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn, but those are communications tools, not really environments where people of my age group want to connect and engage outside the work environment, or to really find something that energizes them and adds to their life. There is a huge opportunity to build that kind of online community focused on spirited baby boomers.”

Golin says he was already doing consulting work for Eons when Sturtevant announced his departure for Microsft and has been handling parts of the CTO role ever since. He says the technology team at Eons has been focused on building up the community-networking aspects of the site, which customers said were more important to them than now-defunct features such as obituaries.

“One of the things that was very critical back in September was recognizing that what the customers really wanted was this online community, the social networking aspect, so we’ve been working very hard to focus all of our efforts and resources into that area,” says Golin. “I’m excited about the applications we’re building, we’ve got a great team, and I like having the chance to do something that feels meaningful to people. And with 700,000 users, we’re at a very good starting point.”

At the same time, Eons announced the appointment of a new design director, Tom Churchill, who will provide creative direction for the Eons website. Churchill is a veteran of Boston social media site Gather.com and travel distributor World Travel Holdings, where he led efforts to build e-commerce software for travel brands such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Yahoo Travel.

“It’s really exciting to have Eric and Tom as part of our team at Eons,” Jeff Taylor, Eons’ founder and CEO, said in the company’s announcement about the hirings. “They both know what it takes to create a fun and fulfilling experience for online users. Their combined talent and knowledge will play a key role in the next phase of Eons as we continue to deliver the best platform for boomers who want to keep in touch with their friends, rekindle old relationships, and create new connections with like-minded adults who share their passions, interests and experiences at this stage of life.”

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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