Tuesday, March 06, 2012

More To The Naveen Story

Naveen Leaving FourSquare

You don't want to believe everything you read in the media, but obviously there is more to the Naveen story than first emerged. My only sources of information are what are publicly available.

Business Insider: Co-Founder Naveen Selvadurai 'Tried To Fight' His Departure From Foursquare
A source who spoke with Selvadurai during his final discussions with Foursquare says Selvadurai feels pushed out – pushed out by his cofounder Dennis Crowley and the Foursquare board of directors....... Selvadurai told the source he was financially "screwed" when he was forced out too. ........ It's unclear how Selvadurai was financially damaged. When an employee leaves a startup, their salary stops and stock options stop vesting....... The severance was complicated enough that Selvadurai had to bring in a lawyer to help...... "[Selvadurai] tried to fight it," says this source. "It was a contentious thing. He was pretty f---ing upset." A second source familiar with the situation tells us Selvadurai's departure wasn't a simple firing or a resignation: "These things can be very gray." ...... one source tells us Selvadurai and Crowley "hadn't been getting along" for some time now. ...... Another source close to Selvadurai tells us he has, for a while now, felt lost at Foursquare and he has been frustrated about his role....... "Foursquare has a CEO; that job is taken" says a source briefed on Foursquare's founder divorce. "Might Naveen be happy about that or not, I don't know. I can see that as being hard." ...... Selvadurai worked hard to make Foursquare what it is today. But Foursquare has always been Crowley's dream. Crowley has been working on this company in some form for years, even before iPhones or his first startup Dodgeball existed. ...... Selvadurai, Foursquare PR, and Crowley declined to comment....... Jack Dorsey, who some have called the next Steve Jobs, was pushed out of Twitter. The board didn't feel he was ready to be CEO....... The exception may be Google's Sergey Brin, who heads "special projects" while his cofounder, Larry Page, runs the company as CEO. ....... When cofounders do stick around, it's often in non-operating, lower-profile roles. Yahoo's David Filo still works in a cubicle, even though he's a billionaire. Apple's Steve Wozniak never wanted a say in running that company. ...... A source close to Selvadurai can't imagine him being happy with a role like Filo's....... "Naveen is a proud guy and a real entrepreneur -- someone who probably wouldn't want to remain in a situation that wasn't fulfilling for him," says a source.
AllThingsD: Checking In With the Foursquare Founder Parting: More “Tense” (Of Course)
In a terse note, Sevaldurai wrote that he would remain on the company’s board and as an adviser, as well as the “single most vocal user” of the popular check-in service. ...... according to numerous sources inside and outside the company — the impetus for Selvadurai’s departure was a lot more complex and fraught than he or the company indicated. ...... Twitter went through the mother of all contentious partings — twice, in fact — in an ongoing battle among its founders. ...... Selvadurai and Crowley, who had together become New York’s highest profile entrepreneurs in recent years ...... they had come to the conclusion over a series of talks over the last several months that there was no place for Selvadurai any longer at the fast-growing start-up. ...... “This company grew very quickly and a lot of senior management has been added,” said one person with knowledge of the situation. “It got to the point where Naveen was not in charge of much.” ....... since Foursquare began adding execs — I have a list below — he had become ever more sidelined, ending up with a small team focused on platform efforts and supporting APIs. ...... “Naveen was no longer heading any meaningful area of functional responsibility, so things got tense” ....... the departure was not ugly or closely related to either a recent stock sale by employees or its most recent funding in June that valued Foursquare at $600 million. ...... “Dennis and he don’t hate each other — things just changed” ....... “When you look at all the external stuff, Naveen’s leaving was really not tied to anything in particular. The business was really starting to mature … and there is eventually a line in the sand between building a product and building a company.” ...... Foursquare now has 111 employees ...... the discussions about roles at the company became more pronounced. ..... Naveen and Dennis agreed that there was not a place for him day to day ...... Crowley’s public goodbye on Twitter was short and, yes, sweet

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