Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Ning Has a New CEO. New Board Coming, Too?

Ning, the social network service launched by Marc Andreessen, has raised nearly $120 million. Will it raise even more?

PE Hub’s Connie Loizos seems to think it will and brings up the idea several times in an interview with new CEO Jason Rosenthal:

Q: Ning doesn’t have a single non-executive board member; given how much it has raised, how is that, and why is that?

A: Stay tuned, you’ll be hearing from us and seeing things there in coming weeks and months.

Q: Meaning that you’re raising more money?

A: Mmm, I didn’t say that. We’ve run the company a certain way, with a certain board structure. But one thing you can expect from me is that we’re ready to build a board of directors with outside, independent board directors. That’s one of the first things I’ll be working on.

Q: Are you raising more money soon? It sounds like you are.

A: No comment.

You can parse this many ways if you’d like. On the one hand, it seems pretty clear that Ning is going to bring in some new directors, which doesn’t mean that it’s raising money. On the other hand, if it is definitely not raising more money, then Rosenthal could just say that. I’ve asked Ning for any clarification it can provide.

But read the whole interview for yourself. There’s a bunch of good stuff. For instance: Rosenthal, without saying so, makes it clear that the company was happy to see SVP of engineering Jay Parikh leave last fall.

And he says that Ning is finally ready to move on from its dependence on Google (GOOG) AdSense. But that will take a while–the company only began building an ad sales team this year.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald