Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Former Googler Cassidy Steps Down as Polyvore CEO

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (pictured here), former president of Google’s Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, is leaving her CEO job at the fashion and shopping social network Polyvore.

Co-founder Pasha Sadri, the creator of Yahoo (YHOO) Pipes, will take over from Cassidy as the company’s top exec.

According to sources, the pair had disagreed on scaling and strategic direction. The announcement was made internally at the start-up this afternoon.

The company confirmed the move (see statements below).

The registered site allows users to “mix & match products from your favorite stores” into fashion “sets” on any topic, from Haiti to the late designer Alexander McQueen.

In other words, everyone can play at being be a stylist, merchandiser or, if aspirations are high enough, presumably, the editor of Vogue magazine.

Founded in 2007, Polyvore has garnered $8.1 million in funding from Benchmark Capital, Harrison Metal and Matrix Partners. It has just over a dozen employees and is based in Mountain Vew, Calif.

Sadri said in a previous interview that Polyvore was founded to allow people to link self-expression with real-world brands and products. The odd name for the company is a combination that seems to roughly mean the devouring of many or much.

Cassidy came to Polyvore in February.

She had previously left the search giant and joined venture firm Accel Partners as a CEO-in-residence last April.

“I was at the end of my streak [at Google] and ready to take the next step and run or grow my own company,” she said at the time. “It is key for me to be stepping out and spreading my wings now.”

Singh Cassidy was one of Google’s more visible execs and one of its highest-ranking women leaders. She had been at Google (GOOG) since 2003.

Previously, she was at Yodlee–an online banking start-up, which was backed by Accel–along with stints at Amazon (AMZN) and OpenTV.

Here is a video interview I did with the pair in late July, as well as with product head Jess Lee:

Here are statements from both Sadri and Cassidy:

We are grateful to have had Sukhinder with us at Polyvore. She is an incredibly talented leader who has scaled our company with new partnerships and raised our profile in the industry. We are immensely appreciative of her contributions to Polyvore. However, at this point in time, we have different visions on how to scale the company and take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us. As a result, the Board, Sukhinder and I have reached an agreement where I will resume responsibilities as CEO, a role I had prior to Sukhinder joining. When we founded the company, we believed we could be the style site where people could connect and share their ideas. Polyvore has grown to over 7 million unique visitors a month; a fashion set being created every 3 seconds and partnerships with Nike, Lancome and others.

Sukhinder will stay on as an advisor to the company as we grow and scale.

Polyvore is an amazing company with a strong community, product and team. The company has endless opportunities ahead of it to become the destination site for fashion style. In the seven months I have been at Polyvore, I have been pleased to scale the company with revenue, marketing, partnerships and key talent. However, at this point in time the founders and I have different visions for how to scale the company further and realize these opportunities. As a result the Board, Pasha and I have agreed that I will be moving on from my current role at the company. I will continue to serve as an advisor.

I plan to take a few months off to spend with my family. I am delighted to have worked with an incredible team in an incredible market space, and wish the team all success in the years to come.


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