Eons Loses Another CTO in Management Split

5/5/08Follow @bbuderi

Barely three months after it announced the hiring of new chief technology officer Eric Golin, some four months after the firm’s previous CTO Reed Sturtevant left to head a new Microsoft lab in Cambridge, Boston baby boomer and social networking site Eons has parted ways with Golin. The CTO left quietly last week, with no announcement made.

At the time of Golin’s official hiring in January, Eons founder and CEO Jeff Taylor touted him and new design director Tom Churchill as knowing “what it takes to create a fun and fulfilling experience for online users.” But, according to Xconomy’s sources, Eons and Golin weren’t finding fun and fulfillment themselves.

“It was a bad fit, basically. That’s what I would say,” Golin confirmed this morning, when I reached him at his Newton home. “I enjoyed working there, they’ve got a high-quality team. But it wasn’t a good fit in terms of myself with the rest of the management team.” Golin said that he had been working with Eons as a consultant dating back to late 2006 and had actually taken over full time as CTO last fall, well before the formal announcement of his hiring in late January.

Two phone calls to Taylor, and an e-mail to the Eons CEO and SVP Linda Natansohn were not answered at the time of this post.

Yet another management shakeup can’t be good news for Eons as it seeks to revamp operations and revitalize its image. Launched on July 31, 2006,as a multipurpose Internet portal and website targeted at the over-50 boomer crowd, the company has been seeking to regain its balance after a series of cutbacks and changes that began last September, when it laid off a third of its staff. That was followed by Sturtevant’s departure later that month.

Then, in February, just a few weeks after hiring Golin to replace Sturtevant, the firm sparked a user outcry by abandoning its over-50 age limit in a bid to facilitate a new focus on social networking. A few weeks after that, Eons unveiled a major redesign—the first stage of a series of planned changes focused on bringing people together individually and around special-interest groups.

Golin, billed as a “serial engineer” who had served as CTO for at least three other IT companies, was presumably essential to that ongoing overhaul. Now, he says, he is evaluating new options.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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