Mike Isaac

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LivingSocial CTO and Co-Founder Departs Company

aaronBatalionAaron Batalion, chief technical officer of the social deals site LivingSocial, will leave the company, he announced Friday on his personal blog.

“We built a culture I am proud of and millions of consumers around the world have experienced their local cities because of our products,” Batalion wrote. “My decision to depart has in no way been easy. The experience and, most importantly, the friendships … have been the best of my career.”

Batalion co-founded LivingSocial in 2007 with partners Tim O’Shaughnessy, Eddie Frederick and Val Aleksenko, and has been on board ever since. Over the past few years, the company has taken on large investments from outside partners, including hundreds of millions from Lightspeed Venture Partners, T. Rowe Price and the online retail giant Amazon.

But the company has faced sharp criticism in recent years, as it has yet to turn a profit, and posted upward of $600 million in operating losses for fiscal year 2012. More recently, the company laid off 400 employees — approximately 10 percent of its workforce — in an attempt at cutbacks and an aim toward profitability.

In his departure announcement, which was first reported by TechCrunch, Batalion didn’t indicate any future plans.

A LivingSocial spokesman confirmed Batalion’s departure, but offered no further comment.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik